Press Coverage

2022 Convening Press Release

January 2023

Baltimore, MD., October 25, 2022 – After two years of impactful virtual gatherings, the Cities United 9th Annual Convening will return to Baltimore, Maryland's Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor on October 26 - 28. Joined by the Baltimore's Mayor's Office, Cities United will bring together over 500 participants, including mayors, city leaders, young leaders, and representatives of community-based, philanthropic, public safety and faith-based organizations committed to reducing homicides and shootings among young Black men and boys by 50%.

Aligned with his work to end gun violence in Baltimore, this two-and-a-half-day event will be presented in partnership with Scott’s public safety agency, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE). Under the leadership of Director Shantay Jackson, MONSE is charged with empowering community partners and city agencies to play a more active role in the co-production of public safety and prevention of violence programming through a trauma-responsive, healing-centered, and equity-based approach for the benefit of all Baltimoreans and through the implementation of Scott’s five-year Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan.

Last April, Scott laid out his strategy to expand Baltimore’s Community Violence Intervention (CVI) ecosystem, including an in-depth report outlining the ways his administration is investing in trauma-informed, community-centered, and evidence-based public health interventions to stem the tide of violence — through the establishment of a comprehensive and multi-faceted CVI ecosystem.

"We know that gun violence is a public health epidemic that is not unique to Baltimore. Communities across the country feel its impacts every day,” Mayor Scott said. “This convening is about bringing together leaders and community members from across our nation who truly want to enact change and create safer and healthier communities. It is going to take all of us to end gun violence, and Baltimore is proud to stand in solidarity and partnership with Cities United and all participants of this convening for the future of our communities.”

As they work to build safe, healthy, and hopeful communities, leaders will convene to engage in purposeful, solution-oriented, and thought-provoking sessions, local site visits at Baltimore Community Mediation Center, LifeBridge Health’s Center For Hope, and others, plus workshops centered around this year’s team: Elevate Our Collective Power. “The goal of our convening is to provide our network with a comprehensive picture of what it will take to prevent gun violence in our communities most impacted. We’re creating a space where all of the stakeholders who lead the work of Reimagining Public Safety to connect, learn and grow together,” said Anthony D. Smith, Executive Director of Cities United.

Alongside Cities United founders Dr. William Bell and Shawn Dove, this year's agenda will feature special guest speakers such as Steve Ballmer of Ballmer Group and former two-term mayor of Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Anthony Nutter.

This convening is sold out for the first time in Cities United's history. Members of the public are encouraged to track the convening on Cities United and MONSE social media platforms.

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Cities United and the Annual Convening

Over the past eleven years, Cities United has partnered with more than 130 cities to reimagine public safety by reducing homicides and shootings among young Black men and boys by 50% and creating better outcomes for their families and communities.

Each year, in partnership with organizations like Casey Family Programs, TOMS, Levi’s, Everytown For Gun Safety, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and The Ballmer Group, Cities Unites convenes an average of 340 mayors, city leaders, young leaders, and representatives of community-based, philanthropic, public safety and faith-based organizations nationwide.

Since 2018, Cities United has engaged 54 young Black leaders in a Young Leader Fellowship and 25 community partners and created 15 custom public safety plans using their Roadmap to Safe, Healthy, and Hopeful Communities methodology. The Roadmap supports partner cities in developing comprehensive plans to accomplish measurable outcomes within three years, measuring homicide rates, shooting rates, adverse childhood experiences, employment rates, and educational attainment. Visit citiesunited.org to join the movement.

The City of Baltimore, Office of Mayor Brandon S. Scott

Brandon M. Scott is the 52nd Mayor of Baltimore City and the youngest person elected to the position in over a century. Mayor Scott is committed to ending gun violence, restoring public trust in local government, and building a more equitable Baltimore for families to thrive. Visit baltimorecity.gov to learn more.