Respond to Violence Scholarship


The Respond to Violence initiative was developed to bring together students, academics, citizens, community organizations, activists, policy makers, and social justice advocates in solutions-oriented discussions, research, and programs of action.

The Respond to Violence Scholarship was created by Yevette Brown in 2015 to support students interested in working to address violence issues through areas such as activism, policy, media, art, health, education, business, or technology.

The Respond to Violence Endowed Scholarship Fund rewards students pursuing meaningful work across disciplines addressing violence prevention via advocacy and community service–key elements in the university’s Respond to Violence initiative.

In response to reports of escalating violence in the Chicagoland area, the Governors State University community felt an urgent need to act. In an effort to assist our community in facing this crisis, GSU established an across-discipline team to explore ideas and solutions. Respond to Violence is the result of this collaboration.

In 2012 when the Respond to Violence initiative began, almost 224 Chicago area residents had been killed by gun violence, more than in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2018, based on the Chicago Police Department's statistics, the number rose to more than 550, with shooting victims totaling almost 3,000.

The Medical community, as reported in University of Pennsylvania study, has noticed a distinct rise in asthma attacks in children impacted by violence. In Chicago, a city already first in the nation with this disease, emergency rooms have also detected a distinct rise in asthma attacks on week-ends when violence is most prevalent. The reason: children are under extreme stress from the violence plaguing their neighborhoods, families and schools.

Many young people live in fear, often showing signs of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) as they struggle to navigate urban war zones.

We are a group of educators, students, community and civic leaders, people concerned about all aspects of violence and its prevention.

If you are a student in any discipline advocating for violence prevention, you are eligible to apply.

If you are an alumni or community member, please consider giving to this important fund.

Yevette Brown

Donation Questions:
Email us at or Call us at +1.708.235.7510