GR Cure Violence: Community Call To Action

Would you join us in making a difference? The city of Grand Rapids has recently been plagued by an increase in violence, including gun violence. As of today, the city has reported twenty murders this year, already surpassing last year's count. With no forward movement on a violence reduction program from city and/or county officials, it is up to us, dedicated Grand Rapidians, to take a stand.

Since 2013, there has been a push for an evidenced-based violence reduction program called Cure Violence by many in the city, both community members and community leaders. This program analyzes and addresses the issue of violence through the lens of a health epidemic. Violence is spread like infectious disease. We know what they means when it comes to Covid-19. Cure Violence can contain and interrupt violence in much the same way.

Cure Violence is a community-led initiative utilizing credible agents (individuals with lived experience from the neighborhoods where they will serve) as violence interrupters and neighborhood mediators through personal relationships to quell and ultimately reduce the level of violence in our city. Successfully implemented in other cities, there are other benefits that this model organically creates. Typically, community/police relations are enhanced in communities using Cure Violence. Additionally, those hired by the community entity facilitating GR Cure Violence are provided living wage jobs and will provide opportunities to those within marginalized populations. 

The leadership of Grand Rapids have been aware of this initiative since it was brought to their attention in 2013 through the Mayor's Gun Task Force under the Heartwell Administration. The city even invested time and money to send elected officials and stakeholders to Chicago for a presentation on Cure Violence. Further, the city welcomed Cure Violence staff to a site visit in Grand Rapids in 2018. Despite these efforts and keen interest in the program, it has yet to be adopted. In the meantime, our neighbors, families, and friends are living with ongoing violence with no potential solution(s) in sight.

Today, we ask that you join Annie VandenBerg of Moms Demand Action GR, and JD Chapman Jr., Founder & Executive Director of Realism is Loyalty, as stakeholders in the community who are willing to #DoSomething to curb violence in the city of Grand Rapids. We are seeking 2,5000 community members to contribute $100 per person (more is welcome) today August 24, 2020 through September 26, 2020 to reach a total of $250,000 with which to approach both the City of Grand Rapids and the GRPD and show how invested the community is to #DoSomething about reducing violence in our community and challenge them to significantly come to the table with both support and investment.

The total cost of implementation of this program, including a university-led evaluation, is approximately $750K annually, and the goal is to operate for three years before the appropriate, evidence-based evaluation can be reliable. With $250K raised through you, your friends, your families, neighborhood groups, faith-based communities, small local businesses, and others, we can call on the policy makers to listen to the will of the people to #DoSomething to Cure Violence.




All funds collected will be submitted to the efforts of Cure Violence GR no matter the community agency taking lead on the actual implementation of a local model, when adopted. If our goal to implement a Cure Violence GR site is not met GoFundMe will be directed to return all donations unless otherwise directed by individual donor to Realism Is Loyalty to support their existing work in the community, according to the policies of GoFundMe. If the goal is reached and exceeded, 10% of the excessive amount will be forwarded to Realism Is Loyalty to cover administrative costs and fees.


  • Sarah Frantz
    • $40 
    • 3 yrs
  • Michael and Sylvia Dekuiper
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs
  • Lawrence and Marjorie Roegge
    • $200 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs

Fundraising team (4)

JD Chapman
Raised $3,776 from 30 donations
Grand Rapids, MI
Realism Is Loyalty
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
Anne Vandenberg
Team member
Raised $1,273 from 15 donations
Christine Helms-Maletic
Team member
Raised $675 from 7 donations
Richard Griffin
Team member
This team raised $8,595 from 77 other donations.

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