Make It Happen is an OVC (Office of Victims of Crime) funded program run in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation’s Domestic Violence department. Its mission is to give young men between the ages of 16 and 24 who have experienced violence the tools necessary to overcome traumatic experiences, and enable them to succeed in spite of those experiences.

Make It Happen is a trauma-informed and culturally competent program that provides mentorship, intensive case management, clinical interventions and supportive workshops. We challenge our participants to think about how their definition of manhood is intertwined in trauma and gender roles.  Through group workshops and client driven individual sessions, our clients are able to recognize and process their own trauma.

Make It Happen is also charged with attempting to engage traditional victim service providers on the needs of male crime victims. The purpose of this is to make victim services compensation available to young men of color who have been victims of crime.

Participants meet with the Director of Trauma Support Services for one-on-one sessions prior to joining a 10 week workshop cohort. The purpose of this is to build rapport and trust with participants and to gain a sense of their individual needs regarding their trauma history. During individual sessions, participants receive guidance and assistance catered to their immediate needs.

During group workshops, the purpose is to challenge participants to explore what healthy black masculinity means to them and society at large. Each cohort also has an opportunity for team-building activities to create a sense of camaraderie among the group in hopes that those connections continue as they move forward in their lives.

To learn more about the Make It Happen program, view this fact sheet: Addressing Trauma in Violence Interrupter Programs or listen to Make It Happen staff and participants describe about the program and their approach below on CCI’s podcast, ‘New Thinking.’


Take a look at our new toolkit, “Responding  to Trauma Among Young Men of Color: Adapting the Crown Heights Approach for Your Community”, to find information and insight for violence interrupter programs and traditional victim services providers.

Vicarious Trauma Toolkit from the National Center for Victims of Crime for violence interrupter programs and traditional victim service agencies.

Watch Program Director Kenton Kirby at DOJ webinar Supporting Young Male Survivors of Violence.

Check out the Make It Happen program featured in the NPR article, A New Approach To Helping Men Of Color Heal After A Violent Incident.


2017 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Theme Video

For more information, contact
Kenton Kirby
Shawn Deverteuil