What Cease Fire Has Done, Why it Works, and Spreading the Idea

Summer of Peace 2012 > Community Peacebuilding > Urban Peace
Broadcast on August 07, 2012
With Dr. Gary Slutkin

Dr. Gary Slutkin

Dr. Gary Slutkin is an epidemiologist, an innovator in violence reduction, and the Founder/ Executive Director of CeaseFire, a scientifically proven, health approach to violence reduction using disease control methods.
Dr. Gary Slutkin is an epidemiologist, an innovator in violence reduction, and the Founder/ Executive Director of CeaseFire, a scientifically proven, health approach to violence reduction using disease control methods. Heralded by the “The World in 2009” edition of the Economist as "the approach that will come to prominence,” CeaseFire has been has now been statistically validated to reduce shootings, killings or both by two independent evaluations conducted by the Department of Justice and Centers for Disease Control, respectively, in two cities—Chicago and Baltimore. In June 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., head of the Department of Justice referenced CeaseFire as an example of “a rational, data-driven, evidence-based, smart approach to crime - the kind of approach that this Administration is dedicated to pursuing and supporting.” Dr. Slutkin applied lessons learned from more than a decade fighting epidemics in Africa and Asia to the creation of a public health model to reduce violence through behavior change and disease control methods. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a senior advisor to the World Health Organization and the 2009 Winner of the Search for a Common Ground Award. Dr. Slutkin received his M.D. from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and did his internship and residency at San Francisco General Hospital. He served as Medical Director for the Tuberculosis Program for the San Francisco Health Department (1981 – 1985), where he learned infectious disease control methods, and from 1987 to 1994 worked for the World Health Organization reversing epidemics, including being principally responsible for supporting Uganda’s AIDS program—the only country to have reversed its AIDS epidemic. CeaseFire’s approach is driven by epidemic reversal methods developed at WHO. CeaseFire is currently being promoted or endorsed by the Institute of Medicine, National League of Cities, the National Governors Association, the White House, and the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee. The program is being replicated at more than 30 sites in 15 U.S. cities, as well as five countries abroad. Dr. Slutkin’s work was featured in Studs Terkel’s Will the Circle be Unbroken, profiled in Blocking the Transmission, a New York Magazine cover story by bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, and represented in the award-winning documentary The Interrupters.