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VOLVO JOINS FORCES WITH NATION’S BUSINESS LEADERS TO TAKE CHICAGO VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM NATIONWIDE

VOLVO JOINS FORCES WITH NATION'S BUSINESS LEADERS TO TAKE CHICAGO VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM NATIONWIDE

 

Mrs. Laura Bush to Attend National CeaseFire Leadership Summit, University of Illinois at Chicago, March 29, 10 a.m. to noon

 

CHICAGO (March 27, 2007)- More than 100 business leaders from throughout Illinois and the rest of the country will come together March 29 to  strategize a solution to reduce violence in neighborhoods throughout the United States. The CeaseFire Leadership Summit, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago, brings together business leaders with the goal of identifying opportunities to form a national corporate council to roll out CeaseFire, a highly-successful violence prevention program that has dramatically reduced crime in Chicago, to other cities nationwide.

 

CeaseFire Illinois, (www.ceasefireillinois.org), founded and led by Dr. Gary Slutkin, a former World Health Organization epidemiologist, is an organization and philosophy that can predict where in neighborhoods gang-related violence will most likely occur, and who is most at-risk. A team of highly-skilled counselors (including many former gang members) is then dispatched to prevent violence often moments before it occurs. Their mission: identify people having violent thoughts, then counsel them out of their anger. And, when a shooting occurs, CeaseFire's team of local church members, prominent neighborhood individuals, neighborhood associations and others work directly with individuals in the neighborhood to respond to the violence.

 

This door-to-door, street-by-street violence prevention program has helped reduce the number of shootings and homicides by up to 85 percent in some neighborhoods over a 4-5 year period.

 

Anne Bélec, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of North America, was first introduced to the CeaseFire program last year, when Dr. Slutkin was honored for his work in the 4th Annual Volvo for life Awards, the largest-ever national search for and celebration of everyday heroes, with Volvo Cars of North America providing $1 million annually in awards and contributions. Dr. Slutkin was a winner in the Safety category and received a $50,000 charitable contribution.

 

"CeaseFire has achieved incredible results in such a short time period," said Bélec. "I believe with some of the nation's best business minds together in one room, and with the attention of our nation's First Lady, we're certainly on the right track to take CeaseFire to the next level."

 

Bélec personally invited business leaders to attend the Leadership Summit.

 

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Contact:         
Carol Schuler
Haberman & Associates
612-372-6451
carol@modernstorytellers.com

 

Sören Johansson
Volvo Cars of North America
949-341-6719
sjohan44@volvocars.com

 

Media:           
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Student Center East
750 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60607

 

OPEN PRESS

 

All electronic media must pre-set at 7:00 a.m.
All non-electronic media may check in by 10:00 a.m.

 

Lighting: TV Quality
Sound: Mult Box
Throw: 60 feet
Cable Run: 600 feet

 

NOTE: Those members of the press interested in attending the event must fax his or her name (as it appears on his or her driver's license), Social Security number and date of birth on company letterhead to (202) 456-1523 no later than 2:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday, March 28, 2007.  For additional credentialing or logistical questions, please contact Eric Ochmanek at (202) 441-4756.

 

For photos of Anne Bélec, her bio and more information on the Volvo for life Awards: www.volvocars-pr.com

 

 

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