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Grant opportunities open to violence-prevention programs
January 11, 2022

Local organizations working to interrupt violence in Knoxville are invited to apply for grant funding now available through the City of Knoxville Office of Community Safety.

“These grant programs build on the City’s effort to support groups working with young people who are at the highest risk of being involved in violence, as well as groups working to engage everyone in our community in preventing youth violence,” says department Director LaKenya Middlebrook.

Grants are available through two programs:

The Spring Break Opportunity Youth Micro-Grant offers funding to groups that provide jobs or other opportunities who fall under the category of “Opportunity Youth” during Knox County’s spring break, March 14-18, 2022. Qualifying programs will target young people between ages 12 and 21 who are at highest risk of becoming victims of, or committing, violent crime due to experiences, including prior involvement with the justice system or having a parent who is incarcerated. Application deadline: 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.

In 2021, a comparable grant program managed by the City’s Empower Knox Initiative supported 11 organizations in providing summer programs and/or jobs to 281 youth. Participating youth pursued art, dance, instrument instruction, writing, sewing, screenprinting, martial arts, workforce development, athletics, and other activities. A full report on that grant and its outcomes is posted at

Youth Violence Prevention Week Micro-Grants will support programs and activities that highlight the impacts of youth violence during National Youth Violence Prevention Week, April 25-29, 2022.

“When we talk about youth violence in our community, there’s the risk of putting the onus of solving these problems directly on our young people,” says Middlebrook. “We’d love to see this grant program support outreach and education that extends the reach of evidence-based tools, strategies or resources to stakeholders and maybe even groups new to the conversation who want to take an active role in reducing youth violence.” Application deadline: 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.

Grant application forms and worksheets are available at and

Mayor Indya Kincannon appointed Middlebrook as the City’s first-ever Director of Community Safety in August 2021. The office leads violence interruption strategies, coordinates safety innovation and collaboration among City departments, and enhances partnerships with on-the-ground people and organizations who are working to make Knoxville safer. The office works closely with the City’s Community Empowerment Department and coordinates resources with others on the front lines working to keep our neighborhoods safe.

To receive additional information about the grant programs or assistance with the applications, interested organizations should contact:

LaKenya Middlebrook, Director
Office of Community Safety

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