As part of their work, the organization operates a Cure Violence, anti-gun violence program called “Brownsville In, Violence Out,” or BIVO, within the confines of the 73rd Precinct.
BIVO is run by Wesner Pierre, vice president of education and youth development at CAMBA. According to Pierre, the program employs a multifaceted approach by giving young people outlets and working to change community norms.
“A lot of times, violence is based on retaliating,” he said. “So when we have access to these young people and we know who they are, based on the credibility of our credible messengers that we’ve hired, we can get in front of a lot of the violence.
“Not just get in front of the violence, but provide alternatives and positive outlets for young people,” he added.
In 2018, the neighborhood saw a 26 percent decrease in violence. While it’s a mark Pierre is proud of, his ultimate goal is “Vision Zero.”
“Any life lost is a real critical hit to the community,” he said. “So we are continuing our work to bring those numbers down even further.”
Recently, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called for an increase in funding for Cure Violence programs like BIVO. Pierre said an increase in funding would translate to more staff and more impact.
“Each day, our goal is to make sure that we’re decreasing more violence than we did the day before,” he said. “It’s ongoing, and we want to make sure that everyday, we continue to push it down and down."