K. Bain brings New York City gun violence interruption to the highest office

From public housing to the White House, K. Bain’s the name for interrupting cycles of gun violence in New York City. This February, Pres. Joe Biden enlisted Community Capacity Development’s executive director to combat the leading cause of premature death throughout the United States. But the Brooklyn-born Bain was working hard in the gun violence prevention world long before he ever shook the firm grip of America’s commander-in-chief.

“In 2010, under the leadership of then-council member Jumaane D. Williams, I had the opportunity to work with him on creating a task force to address gun violence,” he said. “We were able to look at what best practices existed around the country, and also to grab some community stakeholders and leaders who have differing approaches to addressing not only gun violence, but also police brutality and distrust that existed in and out in communities of color.

“What we were very skillfully able to do as co-architects of the crisis management system in New York was to infuse this ‘Human Justice’ approach into the dialogue and into the solutions.”

Bain explains “Human Justice” is a combination of human rights and human development. Equality isn’t just the unalienable, fundamental rights each human is entitled to but also the opportunity for the most marginalized groups to obtain resources to close the gap. In other words, “Human Justice” is about both surviving and thriving. And the Afrocentric approach was certainly thriving—“Human Justice” was what initially brought the president to his door. 

“Pres. Biden [came] to my office and [turned] what should have been a 20-30 minute conversation into more of an hour and a half dialogue around how this ‘Human Justice’ framework and methodology have been so instrumental in not only reducing—but stopping—gun violence in New York City [and] also in other geographies around the country,” said Bain. 

Through his work, Bain realized those most prone to gun violence frequently lacked statements of purpose. So he devised his three-point “Sustainable Growth Plan,” using aspiration mapping, building bridges and content management as tools for personal transformation. In other words, Bain helped youngsters draft goals, create networks and develop healthier mindsets. 

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