By Bob Katzen
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has awarded a two-year $700,000 grant to UTEC Inc. of Lowell to establish a Gun Violence Prevention Training Center for Excellence to address gun violence through both a public health and racial equity lens. According to their website, UTEC’s “mission and promise is to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disconnected young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.”
UTEC will help ten community organizations that were recently funded to create gun violence prevention pilot programs in neighborhoods with higher rates of gun violence by helping them develop strategies that can be applied to their communities and other communities across Massachusetts.
According to the DPH, the Bay State has the lowest firearm death rate in the nation but gun violence is the leading cause of death for 17-24-year-olds in the state.
“Massachusetts’ approach to addressing gun violence is a model for the nation, and our administration is proud to support innovative efforts to address gun violence in our most at-risk neighborhoods,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “This new center will help us expand our support for the vital community organizations who are working every day to reduce gun violence among youth and young adults.”