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Mayor Names Arnitta Holliman to Lead the Office of Violence Prevention

May 20, 2021

MILWAUKEE—Mayor Tom Barrett has promoted Arnitta Holliman to the position of Director of the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP). The office, a part of the Milwaukee Health Department, incorporates a public health approach to reducing violence in the city.

Holliman has worked in OVP as a program manager for the Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma effort, a federally funded program that brings together behavioral health services and other community systems to address the needs of high-risk young people and their families. She has a strong background in psychology and counseling to support her violence prevention work. Holliman holds a graduate degree from Marquette University.

“It is essential that our work to reduce violence includes multiple approaches. Our strategies incorporate law enforcement, but we also value partnerships that address the impacts violence has on individuals, neighborhoods, and the entire community,” Mayor Barrett said. “Arnitta brings a depth of experience, knowledge, and compassion to her new role. I believe the Office of Violence Prevention is in very good hands.”

“As the Director of OVP, I am committed to advancing priorities in mental health, gun violence prevention, youth engagement, and gender-based violence prevention,” Director Holliman said. “Trauma and its effects are pervasive and contagious. We have to break the cycle of persistent pain in our city. It is incumbent upon all of us to lead with and center healing if we want to ever break the cycle of trauma and violence being transmitted in homes and streets across Milwaukee.”

Holliman points out that OVP has grown over the past five years, and she expressed her commitment to continuing the office’s momentum. As Milwaukee confronts unprecedented levels of gun violence, Holliman says, the movement for addressing violence as a public health issue is critical now more than ever. She added that the Blueprint for Peace, a comprehensive violence reduction plan developed in recent years, must remain a North Star for local, county, and state investments for violence prevention in Milwaukee.

Holliman is assuming the role previously filled by Reggie Moore. Moore is now a Director of Violence Prevention Policy and Engagement at the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Injury Center.

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