BUILDING A MOVEMENT TO REIMAGINE PUBLIC SAFETY

Cities United takes a holistic public health approach to reducing gun violence and creating better lives for young Black men and boys, their families, and their communities.
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CREATING SAFE, HEALTHY, & HOPEFUL COMMUNITIES — TOGETHER

Ending the gun violence epidemic among young Black men and boys
Cities United is working with mayors, leaders, and young people nationwide to reduce homicides and shootings among young Black men and boys by 50%, and build safe, healthy, and hopeful communities.
SEE OUR WORK
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OUR TEAM

Our staff brings together decades of expertise in violence prevention, city government, policy, organizing, and lived experience, gained in  communities across the country.
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André
Canty
Senior Associate of National Initiatives
HOMETOWN: 
Knoxville, TN

André manages Cities United’s portfolio of national initiatives. He is a past president of 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville and co-founder of several social justice organizations. He is also a widely published writer and a former Cities United young leader and youth advocate.

Anthony D.
Smith
Executive Director
HOMETOWN: 
Louisville, KY

Anthony became Cities United’s first Executive Director in October 2015, charged with building out the organization and expanding the network. Before joining Cities United, he led the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods in Louisville, working with the community to build out the city’s One Love Louisville Plan. Throughout his career, Anthony has made it a priority to cultivate up-and-coming leaders.

Brittanny
Hardy
Executive Assistant
HOMETOWN: 
Houston, TX

Brittanny believes that advocacy is a collaborative effort and feels privileged to be part of an organization that effects change. She has more than 15 years of experience in the administrative support field. Outside of work, Brittanny enjoys traveling and collecting experiences with her family.

Cassandra
Webb
Director, Russell: Place of Promise
HOMETOWN: 
Louisville, KY

Cassandra co-developed and coordinated Cities United’s Young Leader and Civic Engagement Fellowships, and now leads the development of Cities United's community-investment-without-displacement initiative, Russell: Place of Promise. Cassandra’s work has been recognized by organizations such as Leadership Louisville, Corporation for Black Male Achievement, and Louisville Business First's Forty Under 40 List.

Daphne
Walker
Communication Outreach Specialist, Russell: Place of Promise
HOMETOWN: 
Louisville, KY

Daphne is an award-winning artist and graphic designer, and a firm believer that access to information and the use of graphic art and pictures are crucial to outreach, especially for underserved populations. Daphne co-facilitates GLOW: Girls League of the West, a program that encourages and embraces Black girlhood, and she has received several American Advertising Federation “ADDY” Awards.

Doneah
Marshall
Administrative Support Specialist, Russell: Place of Promise
HOMETOWN: 
Louisville, KY

Doneah provides administrative support to Cities United’s Russell: Place of Promise initiative. Doneah graduated from the University of Louisville, and was a Cities United Young Leader Fellow in 2021. In her free time, she enjoys all things basketball, journaling, solving Rubik's Cubes, and spending time with friends and family.

Jeremy
Brown
Event Operations Associate
HOMETOWN: 
Brunswick, GA

Jeremy manages Cities United’s annual convening, and supports team members with logistics and travel. Jeremy previously served as the Associate of Young Leader Programming and an Administrative Associate, and outside of work, he is an artist and he enjoys coaching track and field and football in his spare time.

Jerrilyn
Roberson
Associate of Young Leader Programming
HOMETOWN: 
Dallas, TX

Jerrilyn is a native of Dallas,Texas dedicated to her quest to collectively heal Black communities across the globe. She has served as a community organizer in various communities in Texas and abroad. Jerrilyn now serves as the Associate of Young Leader Programming with Cities United, where she continues her quest to create healthy and safe spaces, specifically for Black men and boys.

Justin
Reid
Director of Storytelling
HOMETOWN: 
Durham, NC

Justin is responsible for leveraging the mission, vision, values, and approaches of Cities United to communicate a compelling yet straightforward narrative of the people, places, and experiences that make up Cities United.

Latonya "Abys"
Denson
Special Projects Administrator
HOMETOWN: 
Newport News, VA

LaTonya helps support Cities United’s partnerships and provides administrative management support to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of Cities United’s internal management systems. LaTonya is also the founder of Abu Unity Foundation, a mentorship and violence prevention group in Hampton Roads, Virginia, which she started in 2006 after losing the father of her oldest daughter to gun violence.

Latoya
Delk
Sr. Associate of City Engagement
HOMETOWN: 
Smithfield, VA

LaToya works to strengthen communities’ efforts in violence reduction and public safety. Delk is a Native of Smithfield VA, received a B.A in Political Science from Norfolk State University and M.B.A from Averett University.

Margarett
McBride
Senior Associate of Storytelling
HOMETOWN: 
Saginaw, MI

Margarett McBride is the Sr. Associate of Storytelling at Cities United. As an artist, author, organizer, and researcher, Margarett has cultivated a body of work that reflects the stories and lives of Black youth, families, and neighborhoods. At Cities United, Margarett helps disseminate ideas, information, data, and stories so cities can envision and create a world where we have dismantled systems of inequity so young Black men and boys can experience safe, healthy, and hopeful communities.

Monica
Brown
Fiscal Administrator
HOMETOWN: 
Louisville, KY

Prior to joining Cities United, Monica has served as a practitioner in community development, organizational development, program development and management, and grant writing for 25 years, with local government, various nonprofits, churches, and neighborhood-based organizations. She loves serving people and believes that her daily purpose is found in how much she is willing to give away!

Rachel
Askew
Senior Associate of Young Leader Programming
HOMETOWN: 
Tacoma, WA

Rachel leads Cities United’s Young Leader programs and is passionate about coming alongside teams of all kinds to help establish equitable, inclusive, and transformative platforms for young leaders to showcase their skills and vision for world-changing communities. Rachel is proud to call Tacoma, Washington home, and in her spare time she enjoys traveling, playing with her nephew, and finding the best food in her city.

Synethia
White
Director of Strategic Initiatives
HOMETOWN: 
Tabb, VA

Synethia is responsible for designing, strengthening, and implementing Cities United’s strategic vision as it relates to national programming and partner city engagement. She has more than 15 years of experience in public service, citizen-led community-based initiatives, violence prevention efforts, proposal development, and grant management. The importance of service was instilled in her at an early age by her grandmothers.

Tiffany
Williams
Office Manager
HOMETOWN: 
Louisville, KY

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A vast and diverse national network, creating real change
Mayors
CITY LEADS
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
YOUNG LEADERS
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We’re building a movement
“Sometimes we think we’re doing this work alone, and to be able to connect with a leader from another city that is on the same mission as you, that’s priceless … If Cities United wins, we all win.”
Shawn Dove, CEO, Corporation for Black Male Achievement

JOIN US AS WE
INTERRUPT VIOLENCE
DISMANTLE SYSTEMS &
INVEST IN COMMUNITIES

There are many ways to be part of our work.
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Donate

As a nonprofit organization, our supporters help us continue and expand the work we are doing across the country. Donations may be tax deductible.

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Our nationwide network is always growing. Sign up to become a part of the work we do, or stay up to date by receiving our monthly newsletter.

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Learn

Learn more about our approach to violence reduction, collaborative change-making, and building safe, healthy, and hopeful communities.

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News and Events
OCT 25-26, 2023
10th Annual Convening
The Cities United Convening brings together advocates, city leaders, community members, and change-makers like you to explore innovative violence prevention strategies and share best practices. Together, we will uplift young Black men and boys, address the root causes of violence, and cultivate positive outcomes in our cities.
Register
AUG 29, 2023
Community Partner Support Network
The Community Partner Support Network consists of representatives of organizations that are passionate about reducing gun violence and homicides for Black men and boys. This space is often a time to brainstorm ideas, share setbacks and wins, and plant seeds for collaborations across cities and states.
Register
AUG 23, 2023
Policy and Practice Series
This webinar will focus on best practices and policies  for trauma informed care, healing approaches and suicide prevention in neighborhoods and schools.

Register
OUR SUPPORTERS
Cities United is generously supported by these organizations