Pres. Biden addresses gun violence in America

Chester Community Coalition was pleased to be invited to see President Biden speak in Wilkes Barre, PA on August 30th.  CCC’s Executive Director Alexia Clarke and Case Manager, Ed Mack, attended the event at Wilkes University as part of a full audience from the region.  The speech focused on his $37 billion plan aimed at addressing gun violence, the impact of gun violence in the US, and legislative actions his administration is taking to solve the issue.  
Titled the "Safer America Plan," his proposal would be funded through money included in his fiscal year 2023 budget request and requires congressional approval.  President Biden also made clear his intention to ban assault weapons, stating that they had beaten the National Rifle Association (NRA) before and could do so again.  
We were encouraged by the energy and determination of the President to make a real impact on gun violence in the US and feel aligned with this call.  As he said, Americans "see hate and anger and violence just walking the streets, and they just want to feel safe again. They want to feel a sense of security. And that's what my crime plan is all about."
Families gathered July 30 to create Pictures of Peace 

We are thankful to all the parents, families, CCC team members, and community partners that helped make our Pictures of Peace event a success! Children had the opportunity to discuss and express things they loved, wanted to change, and hoped to see in the future about their city, Chester, PA.

Organized by our Outreach Specialist, JaNyiah Rothwell, children shared through art what they love about Chester-- water ice was a big favorite, as well as friendly people in the neighborhood and all the events they get to attend. In terms of what they wanted to change in Chester, gun violence came up as a major concern.  Then, the children shared things that they would love to see in the future.  They mainly wanted to see newer buildings and modern neighborhoods.  Seems like neighborhood beautification is on everyone's mind!  

At the end, some of the parents and children made Soulboxes to remember those we have lost to gunfire in the City.  We'll be making those throughout the fall on Tuesday evenings.

We look forward to hosting more of these gatherings, so keep a look out on our social media for the next event.  If you'd like to support one of these evenings as a volunteer, reach out to JaNyiah at 215-617-2629 or sign up to volunteer with us here:
Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program featured in Crozer's Community Booklet

The HVIP team, Ed Mack, Kyra Morales and Ceez Newsome, along with the hospital staff, Sandy Durgin and Danielle Decker, were recently featured in Crozer Chester Medical Center's annual community booklet.  Zoom in to read the article and learn more about the life-saving work our team does every day and night to prevent reinjury or retaliation with survivors of shootings or stabbings in Chester and Delaware County!
See our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan!

After the disruptions of COVID-19 and the 2020 lockdowns, CCC had to reorient and set a clear path for our sustainability and growth over the next few years.  Michelle Wiley Design, LLC facilitated the development of this plan. Over a 5-month period, she worked with the CCC Executive Director and Advisory Board to create a plan for the next 3 years to ensure that CCC continues to provide needed services and excellent outcomes for the City of Chester, PA and Delaware County.

The process included qualitative and quantitative data collection and stakeholder input through the following activities:

  • Survey and interviews with Staff Members
  • Survey and interviews with Advisory Board Members
  • Interviews with Community Partners
  • Interviews with Funders
  • SCOT Analysis - Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, and Threats Environmental Scan
  • Advisory Board Retreat to review findings and formalize progress.

Through this comprehensive process, internal and external themes arose that informed the strategic goals, objectives, and action steps that CCC will implement over the course of the next three years. 

See the plan and join us in this healing work over the next few years!

Alexia testifies at PA Democratic Senate Hearing

Chester Community Coalition (CCC) was invited to share testimony to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee on August 24, 2022 . State Senator Katie Muth hosted a public hearing in Montgomery County on the secondary impacts and consequences of gun violence in Pennsylvania along with co-hosts Senator Amanda Cappelletti, Senator John Kane, and Senator Sharif Street.

Alexia Clarke provided remarks detailing the comprehensive public health approach being taken by CCC to end gun violence and to create safer, healthier communities.  This included our hospital-based partnership with Crozer Chester Medical Center, individual and group-based therapy services, training in Mental Health First Aid and trauma-informed care, and efforts around collaboration with other agencies in the community. Her remarks and those of the other testifiers can be found here.

Per Senator Muth, “Gun violence is such a pervasive public health crisis in our country … Those in power in all levels of government need to work with stakeholders to develop a collaborative plan that focuses on prevention, wrap-around services for direct and secondary impacted individuals, increasing standards related to firearm safety, and holding perpetrators accountable.”  

We look forward to continuing the conversation with our state legislators and to being part of the work that ends gun violence in the City of Chester and beyond.

Introducing Cynthia Hart-Griffith

Cynthia has over 25 years experience specializing in non-profit finance, accounting, and strategic management. Cynthia has a B.A. in Accounting, an M.B.A. in Accounting, and a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University.

She has served as Chester Education Foundation’s Financial Director since 2008, and also supports CASA Youth Advocates.  She previously held financial positions for the Strath Haven Middle School and Nether Providence Elementary school Home & School Associations and was a past Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Helen Furness Free Library.

We are so glad to welcome her to CCC to support our finance and accounting!
Meet Dani Baker

Dani is a fifth year Doctoral Candidate at Widener University's Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and is also working towards her Masters in Business Administration. She earned her Bachelor's degree in psychology and human service studies from Elon University and her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Widener University. 

In her practice, Dani works with children, adolescents, teens, and emerging adults with a variety of presentations, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, trauma, anger issues, and ADHD. Dani has worked with individuals in a variety of outpatient and school settings. 

For self care, Dani enjoys puzzling, spending time outside, or spending time with family and friends. 

At Chester Community Coalition, Dani is looking forward to providing trauma informed care to individuals and groups as well as providing organizational support in hopes of merging her psychology and business degrees.

The Chester Community Coalition provides free trauma-informed individual, group, and art therapy to children and parents in Chester who are survivors of gun violence. Counseling sessions are flexible so working parents can participate, and are available year-round.

To do our work we need you.

Your support means we can continue to keep our therapy free for survivors of murder or violent assault. We can continue to offer individual or family therapy when their experience of violence is too recent for them to benefit from a group setting.

Your donations also mean:

  • We can offer families safe door-to-door transportation (via Lyft)
  • We can offer families dinner (safely pre-boxed)
  • We can provide craft supplies for art therapy, or 
  • We can buy supplies for outreach, to start families’ healing journeys
Please donate today, if you can.

For those who prefer to donate by check, please make check out to “Urban Affairs Coalition, Chester Community Coalition”, and mail to:

Urban Affairs Coalition 
Attn. Esther Haskins
Suite 700
1207 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA  19107

 703 Central Ave. 
Chester, PA 19013
 (610) 368-0714
Copyright © 2020 Chester Community Coalition, All rights reserved.

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