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Attacking Root Causes

Solving problems by addressing the underlying factors. By digging deep and attacking the root causes of a problem, changemakers are able to treat the disease rather than just the symptoms. These solutions offer help to those in need, employ a comprehensive approach to problem-solving, and address the determinants that keep individuals and communities from succeeding.

Attacking root causes

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Locals, who know Sunnydale's housing projects well, flattened a COVID-19 outbreak

Mission Local

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Community leaders in Sunnydale, CA contained a coronavirus scare through swift responses, appeals to the community, contact tracing and establishing neighborhood test sites. An emphasis on public education in the neighborhood was also essential to the efforts. The hyperlocal response, which was u...

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The surprising way to stop shootings that doesn't involve more cops and arrests

Mother Jones

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After two failed attempts, Oakland Ceasefire retooled its approach and since 2013 has been a significant factor in lowering homicides and nonfatal shootings. The program, used in various ways in many cities, identifies young men at high risk of getting shot or shooting others and then offers them...

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How a packed slum in Mumbai beat back the coronavirus, as India's cases continue to soar

The Washington Post

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The population of Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai, made the region a hotspot for coronavirus transmission, but local officials' aggressive action plan – which included testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and increased sanitation efforts – helped quell the spread of the virus. Although the process was...

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Here's a radical idea that will change policing, transform prisons and reduce crime: treat criminals like human beings

The Correspondent

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Comparing Norway's and the United States' approaches to prisons and policing puts the lie to the American notion that being tough and unrelentingly punitive effectively addresses crime. In Norway, even people imprisoned for violent crimes, in maximum-security prisons, are treated with respect and...

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As Murders Rise, New York City Turns to a Police Alternative

CityLab

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In New York City, 14 organizations have more than 200 people performing street outreach to intervene in potentially deadly gun crimes in at least 20 of the city's most violent "hot spots." These "violence interrupters" mediate disputes and offer social services in a process that relies on former ...

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The Defund Movement Aims to Change the Policing and Prosecution of Domestic Violence

The Appeal

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Criminalizing domestic violence was considered a feminist-inspired advance for crime victims, but making arrests and prosecution the main responses to the problem has backfired in many ways. With funding and attention focused on punishment, other services for victims have been neglected. And expe...

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Kentucky town hires social workers instead of more officers - and the results are surprising

WAVE-TV

Broadcast TV News / 3-5 Minutes

Alexandria, Kentucky's 17-officer police department avoided the expense of hiring more police officers by adding two social workers to assist police in responding to the types of calls that can often turn into repeat calls to 911. By working with people in domestic disturbances, mental health cri...

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India's tribal farmers tap solar irrigation to cut migration

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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New solar-powered irrigation systems in the Chotanagpur Plateau region in India are giving farmers more dependable water and allowing them to diversify their crops, allowing them to also grow their income. Many farmers from a local village used to migrate to other places to search for work, but a...

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As Prisons Cancel Visitation, The Phone Line Becomes A Life Line

Boise State Public Radio (KBSX)

Radio / 3-5 Minutes

To alleviate the isolating effects of COVID-19 restrictions in prisons barring outside visitors, some prisons have encouraged phone and video contact with family by waiving the fees normally charged for such services. In Utah, the first 10 calls per week are free. Federal prisons have waived the ...

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Baltimore's Violence Interrupters Confront Shootings, the Coronavirus, and Corrupt Cops

The Intercept

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Baltimore’s Safe Streets program, which uses a public-health approach to stopping the spread of community gun violence, mediated more than 1,800 conflicts in 2019 and is credited with preventing homicides altogether in one neighborhood, despite the city’s overall violent year. Since the program’s...

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Our issue area taxonomy was adapted from the PCS Taxonomy with definitions by the Foundation Center, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License.

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Fondriest Environmental, David De Wit / Community Eye Health, Linda Steil / Herald Post, John Amis / UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS, Andy B, Peter Garnhum, Thomas Hawk, 7ty9, Isriya Paireepairit, David Berger, UnLtd The Foundation For Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Dunne, Burak Kebapci, and Forrest Berkshire / U.S. Army Cadet Command public affairs

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license, and are credited to the following photographers:

Ra'ed Qutena, 段 文慶, Fabio Campo, City Clock Magazine, Justin Norman, scarlatti2004, Gary Simmons, Kathryn McCallum, and Nearsoft Inc

Photos are licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Burak Kebapci and SCY.

Photos are licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) and are credited to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Conference attendee listening to speaker, Jenifer Daniels / Colorstock getcolorstock.com.

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Sonia Narang