Office of Violence Prevention
The mission of the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) is to promote healthy citizens and healthy communities in Chicago by reducing and preventing violence using a public health framework.
The work of OVP is guided by social justice and public health principles:
- We strive to be inclusive, community-oriented, respectful, accessible and affordable
- We strive to prevent the occurrence of violence
- We strive to identify and intervene quickly when violence does occur
Guided by these values and in pursuit of reducing and preventing violence, OVP’s main areas of engagement are:
- Education and Capacity Building
- Networking and Collaboration
- Direct Service Technical Assistance
- Social Marketing and Resource Development
Director, Office of Violence Prevention (CDPH)
Marlita White, LCSW, received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Iowa State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana, respectively. Ms. White been with the Chicago Safe Start since April 2002 and has served as the Director for the Office of Violence Prevention at the Chicago Department of Public Health since 2011.
For the first 10 years of practice, Ms. White provided and supervised direct services to high-risk children and families. She has also served as a quality assurance manager and consultant for multiple community mental health and child welfare programs.
For the past 10 years, Ms. White has been closely involved in violence prevention research, strategic planning, and program implementation. As Director for the Chicago Safe Start program, her chief interest is to engage child and family serving provider systems in improving their responsiveness to young children who are exposed to violence. This work is central to her overall mission to mentor individuals, programs and communities.
Erica B. Davis, M.S., M.A. of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Office of Violence Prevention is the Program Manager for the Chicago Dating Matters Initiative (CDMI), a CDC-funded initiative addressing teen dating violence.
Ms. Davis’ previous experience in child welfare and other violence prevention efforts have provided a vehicle by which her knowledge and understanding of the issues that impact children and families has increased.
Ms. Davis has been training since 1997 on topics related to family development, family violence prevention, school violence and bullying, domestic and teen dating violence, as well as, children’s exposure to violence.
She has presented at many events and conferences. Ms. Davis has been highlighted in a South Suburban newspaper as a participant in the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois General Assembly and a leader in Illinois’ holistic health and education movement with Chicago Public School’s Chief Officer of Specialized Services.
She is actively involved in the Chicago Police Department’s Domestic Violence Sub-committees, as well as, other community organizations and area-wide task forces to raise awareness of the issues of the impacts of violence on children and their families.
Ms. Davis is the lead author and editor of Bringing the Kids Back into Focus: Building a Community Response to Children’s Exposure to Violence training curriculum, coordinator of the Chicago Department of Children & Youth Services (CYS) Making A Difference Training Initiative, chairperson of the Making the Connection: Emerging Service Models for Children Exposed to Violence Summit, and team member of the animated creation Stories for Children that Grownups Can Watch.
She has Master’s degrees in Human Service Administration and Counseling and continually works to increase her capacity to provide effective training to a variety of audiences.
Program Development Coordinator
Delrice Adams, MA is responsible for coordinating program evealuation and outcome accountability projects for the Office of Violence Prevention. She is the evaluation liaison for the CDPH Chicago Dating Matters Initiative. With 20 years of experience, Ms. Adams has spent most of her career implementing policy and programs that address the multifacedted needs of economically disadvataged communities and high-risk children and families.
Ms. Adams received her Master's degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Program Development Coordinator
Joseluis Avalos, MSW of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Office of Violence Prevention is a trainer and the Program Development/Education Coordinator for Chicago Safe Start. Mr. Avalos is responsible for coordinating violence prevention education programs and engaging community involvement. With over 15 years of experience, Mr. Avalos has worked at both the local and state level, in addition to serving in the non-profit sector. He earned his Bachelor and Master degrees in Social Work from the University of Illinois-Chicago Jane Addams School of Social Work.
Staff Assistant, Office of Violence Prevention
Pamela Greer began her career with the Chicago Department of Public Health as a staff assistant for former Commissioner Shelia Lynn.
For the past 13 years, she has been a staff assistant in the Office of Violence Prevention, providing special assistance to the Chicago Safe Start program.
Pam is always willing to offer a helping hand to health related causes and events; she is a regular volunteer at Mayor Daley's Annual Senior Fest and at neighborhood health fairs facilitated through the CDPH Office of Public Information.