CDLI: 57+ Blocks Coalition

A gun violence reduction strategy.

In September 2021, the Philadelphia Inquirer published “Intersections of Injustice​,” an article that identified 57 blocks where 10 or more people have been shot since 2015. In response to this work, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) and community partners launched the “57 Blocks Coalition,” a place-based strategy aimed at reducing gun violence through the targeted investment of resources, services, and environmental improvements.

At this session, speakers from the DAO and community partners will share information about their strategy, and discuss opportunities for collaboration, signing onto the coalition, and implementing these evidence-based strategies in communities across Philadelphia.

Thursday, May 4th – 10:00am-11:30am | Zoom Webinar

Register Here


Dr. Oren Gur joined the DAO in 2018 to use analytics, research, and criminological theory to plan and implement policy to transform Philadelphia’s legal system. Oren currently serves as a Policy Advisor and is the Director of Research and the District Attorney’s Transparency Analytics (DATA) Lab. At the DAO, Dr. Gur has been a PI or Co-I on over $7 million in foundation, state, and federal grants, including to create the DATA Lab, a new unit that supports policy, practice, and research into the impact of the criminal justice system on communities. The DATA Lab works to promote transparency particularly with regards to data and research, and helps to inform prosecutors and the public. The DATA Lab is unique in its ability to link arrest, court, and other criminal- and non-criminal legal data to help evaluate efforts towards improving public safety and inform data-driven policy reform. Oren has worked on prosecutor-led bail reform, sentencing reform to reduce mass supervision, an interagency report on shootings and the availability of guns in Philadelphia, legislation empowering law enforcement to inspect gun sellers, the decriminalization of buprenorphine and fentanyl test strip possession, and the 57 Blocks Coalition, and facilitated independent research on topics including bail reform, accidental drug overdoses and criminal justice contacts, the resentencing of juvenile lifers, and prosecutorial discretion. See to learn about more research projects and visit our Public Data Dashboard, and sign up for the DATA Lab newsletter here:

Rev. Gregory Holston is a recognized community activist, pastor, and leader known for advocating for racial and economic justice. At the Philadelphia DA’s Office, he works to strengthen relationships, build trust, and improve cooperation among Philadelphia communities in partnership with civic, government, and law enforcement officials. He advises DAO employees on ways to integrate social justice best practices and community-based policies and procedures into their work. Externally, he advances the mission of the DAO to make the criminal justice system in Philadelphia more accessible and accountable.

Rev. Holston previously served as Executive Director of POWER: Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild, where he organized 65 + congregations representing nearly 50,000 individuals across the city of Philadelphia, surrounding counties and the center of the state. Reverend Holston is the Senior pastor of Janes Memorial United Methodist Church as well as a businessman, entrepreneur, college professor, speaker and community activist. His most important role, however, is serving as a devoted and loving husband and father.

Rev Dr Donna L. Jones has been a restorative practitioner, trainer, author, and advocate for over two decades. Dr Jones serves as Executive Director of the Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia, a Church Foundation that resources nonprofits, grass-roots community leaders, and congregations involved in the education of persons living in low-wealth neighborhoods through its Mabel Kuhn and Walter S. Kuhn Memorial Trust: distributing over $125,000 in grants to individuals, organizations and groups in the tri-state area during 2019. Dr. Jones is a licensed trainer through the International Institute of Restorative Practices, and founder of the Restorative Cities Initiative™, which promotes training and advocacy collaboratively with city residents and public/private-, formal and informal- city agencies toward neighborhood wide integration of restorative practices throughout social systems toward community wellbeing. Reverend Dr. Donna Lawrence Jones currently serves founding pastor of
the Cookman Beloved Community Baptist Church in West Philadelphia.
Reason to support 57 Blocks: Place based strategies are our only hope to address the systemic policies that create environments of community trauma that perpetuates violence and hopelessness.

Reuben Jones is a social justice advocate who serves as the Executive Director of Frontline Dads Inc. where he leads a gun violence prevention initiative, “Peacemakers”, that teaches conflict resolution, violence prevention and critical thinking to those at risk for being victims or perpetrators of gun violence. Reuben Jones is a clinical therapist (focusing on trauma and violence) with a Master’s Degree from Lincoln University (2009). Reuben has previously served as the Social Services Coordinator for the “Focused Deterrence” Gun Violence Reduction Strategy (2013-2017) helping the city to reach the lowest gun violence rate in 50 years. He has also served on Mayor Kenney’s transition team (2015) and won a Presidential Service Medal from President Barack Obama (2016) for his advocacy.

Reason to support 57 Blocks: The only way to change the trajectory of gun violence is to undo the harm that has created the culture of violence through unresolved trauma, governmental neglect and institutional racism. The 57 Blocks initiative is one that I believe in because it seeks to address those structural harms and invests in those communities that have been directly impacted.