Starting a VFZ

What it Takes to Set Up a Violence-Free Zone

1. A willingness to accept guidance and direction from the Woodson Center (WC) on the establishment of the Violence-Free Zone (VFZ) during the early setup phase.*

2. An individual or a community-based organization within the affected area that has the trust and confidence of young people in the community and has a track record of working with them for at least 18 months. The leader must be able to demonstrate his or her credibility and leadership skill through references and constituent recommendations.

3. Baseline information documenting the need for a VFZ in your community, including crime and violence statistics and school incident statistics.

4. Demonstrated cooperation with city or county officials, school officials, law enforcement and other community leaders.

5. Identification of sources of funding in the community that can provide support for your VFZ initiative.

6. A willingness to accept training and receive extensive technical assistance from the WC to bring the organization to a high level of management skill and financial accountability.

7. A visit to an active existing VFZ site to observe and understand the initiative.

8. A commitment to cooperate in acquiring tracking, measurement, and evaluation data so that outcomes can be documented.

9. A willingness to share best practices and participate in the Woodson Center’s VFZ network. * If needed, the WC can help find an effective grassroots organization in your community.

For further information contact Curtis Watkins, VFZ Director, by mail at: Woodson Center, 1625 K Street, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20006, Phone: 202-518-6500 or Email: