Mobilizing Communities and Building Capacity for Youth Violence Prevention: The National Academic Centers of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevention
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Violence, including its occurrence among youth, results in considerable physical, emotional, social, and economic consequences in the US. Youth violence prevention work at the Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes preventing youth violence-related behaviors, injuries, and deaths by collaborating with academic and community partners and stakeholders. In 2000 and 2005, DVP funded the National Academic Centers of Excellence (ACE) for Youth Violence Prevention. Most ACE Centers focus on building community capacity and competence so that evidence-based programs for youth violence prevention can be successfully implemented through effective and supportive research-community partnerships. This commentary provides historical information about the ACE Program, including the development, goals, accomplishments of the Centers, and the utilization of a community-based participatory research approach to prevent youth violence.