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Special VPI Statement

Dismantling Our Oppressive, Racist, Violent Systems
The VPI Leadership has published a statement of acknowledgement, commitment and action which is available on our website. Black Lives Matter.
Read our full statement here.

Director's Note

Dear VPI community: 
As many of you know, I will be stepping down as VPI Director to start a new position as a Professor at the Boston College School of Social Work on July 1. However, my work in violence prevention, and ongoing projects at Tulane, will continue. The VPI was born out of informal gatherings that generated meaningful and enriching conversations between Tulane faculty and our local community partners engaged in various forms of violence prevention efforts throughout New Orleans and beyond.

Several of us, including Drs. Kat Theall and Stacy Drury, envisioned establishing an institute designed to strengthen interdisciplinary faculty collaborations as well as academic-community partnerships, while enhancing both the impact and the visibility of our collective efforts. Since its formal establishment in 2017, the VPI has made considerable progress toward those goals. Most noteably, in 2019 we received funding for the new Pincus Violence Prevention Scholarship Program. With my departure, the VPI will transition to a new management structure, built from the interdisciplinary Pincus leadership team, which is comprised of senior and junior faculty from the Schools of Public Health and Topical Medicine (SPHTM), Medicine (SOM) and Social Work (SSW). In addition, Dr. Theall will join the team as Senior Director.  I have every confidence that the reach and impact of the VPI will continue to grow stronger under their leadership. It’s been a great pleasure working with and getting to know all of you, and I hope we can continue our collaborations and dialogues from afar. I will remain an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences in the SPHTM, and you can continue to reach me at  Let's stay in touch.

New Leadership Team
Senior Director
Dr. Kat Theall (SPHTM) will lead the VPI as Senior Director. Dr. Theall has extensive experience in leading interdisciplinary research collaborations as Director of the Mary Amelia Women's Center and the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Doctoral Training Program. Her research focuses on policy and community influences on health disparities, with an emphasis on altering environments for better health in vulnerable populations.
Executive Director
Dr. Stacy Drury (SOM) will provide guidance and support to the VPI leadership. Dr. Drury is the SOM Executive Leader on the Pincus Violence Prevention Scholarship Program, Associate Director of the Tulane Brain Institute, co-director of the Stress Environment Research Collaborative for Health Disparities, and Chief Research Officer at Children's Hospital New Orleans. Her research focuses on understanding how sensitive and responsive parenting can buffer young children from the lasting biological and psychological impacts of violence across generations.
Executive Director
Dr. Samantha Francois (SSW) will provide guidance and support to the VPI leadership. Dr. Francois is also the SSW Executive Leader to the Pincus Violence Prevention Scholarship Program. Her work examines the relationships between multi-system risk contributors and protective factors and mental health, educational, and quality of life outcomes for African Americans in urban geographies.
Associate Director
Dr. Julia Fleckman (SPHTM) will oversee day-to-day activities of the VPI, including working closely with the Program Manager. Dr. Fleckman is the Director of the Pincus Violence Prevention Scholarship Program and Director of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Mary Amelia Women's Center. As a social scientist and mixed methods researcher, her work focuses on evaluating mechanisms for the prevention of family violence and sexual violence.

Institute Funding Updates

VPI Funding Status
Funding for the VPI Program Manager position has been renewed by the University for two more years! This funding will allow the VPI to maintain regular operations as we continue to actively pursue sustainable funding options. 

VPI Research Center
The VPI leadership team has recently submitted a Letter of Intent to the Tulane Office of Research to apply for the Center of Research Excellence grant. This letter was supported by the schools of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, Medicine, Social Work, Science & Engineering, Liberal Arts and Architecture. The purpose of the proposed Center is to coordinate research among Tulane faculty working to understand and address violence which stems from the biological, socio-economic, and cultural impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Funding Opportunities

Click here to see more

Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center
Funder: ACYF/FYSB    Deadline: 06/26/2020     Amount: $2,100,000
Street Outreach Program
Funder: ACYF/FYSB    Deadline: 06/29/2020     Award Amount: $150,000

Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences Data to Action
Funder: CDC    Deadline: 07/13/2020     Award Amount: $500,000

Learn More About the VPI

The VPI at Tulane aims to build a collaborative network of faculty, students and community partners working together to understand and prevent violence.
Check out our website // Previous newsletters // VPI faculty members

Questions? Contact Kate Schulze
504.988.9965 |
Copyright © 2020 Tulane University, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Dept. of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences
Violence Prevention Insitute
1440 Canal St., Suite 2200
New Orleans, LA 70112

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Violence Prevention Institute · 1440 Canal St · New Orleans, LA 70112-2703 · USA

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