Spotlight on Newark

May 29, 2013

The Community Foundation of New Jersey has long worked with the City of Newark – as well as other partners in Newark – to improve the city’s quality of life.  In fact, when we were founded in 1979 it was as the Community Foundation of Greater Essex County.  While we now focus on philanthropy across all of New Jersey, we retain a special place for the City of Newark.

Here are some of our more recent projects.  If you would like to give toward our work in Newark specifically, visit your fund on DonorCentral and consider making a grant to one of these programs.

  • In an effort to combat gang violence, CFNJ joined with the Newark Police Department and several area foundations to initiate the “Operation Ceasefire” crime-prevention model which was successful in Boston and Cincinnati.  The Newark Police Department leads the effort with support from experts at Rutgers University and the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at CUNY.  Based on the premise that violence and drug activity in troubled neighborhoods is caused predominantly by a remarkably small and active number of people locked in the group dynamics of gangs and drug crews, the program seeks to engage these groups and make clear the opportunities and consequences associated with continued criminal activity.
  • In order to better monitor gun-related activity in neighborhoods, CFNJ worked with the City of Newark, the Newark Police Department, and other nonprofits to deploy a “Community Eye” technology platform.  The system’s network of audio gunshot detection technology and remote-control public surveillance cameras alerts police to gunshots in real time, allowing for faster responses.  The system is able to pinpoint the near-exact location of the gunshot, the number of shooters, the number of shots fired, and whether the shooter(s) were moving or stationary.  This detailed information and instant alerting allows the Newark Police Department to more effectively combat gun-related crimes.
  • In order to restore and preserve a historically-significant green space, CFNJ manages the Military Park Restoration Project and coordinates financial support to rehabilitate this area in downtown Newark.  With the generous support of foundation partners and by working with the City of Newark, the project leaders expect work to begin this spring (2013) on replacing trees; improving landscaping; installing seating, trash bins, and restrooms; and ultimately opening a café.  Mayor Booker and others point to a revitalized park as the “front yard” for the city’s numerous large and small businesses.