The Off-Ramp Project is The Violence Project’s training branch. Jill and James approached me about their vision for an online violence prevention training program to put their data-driven solutions into the public sphere. They would offer multiple courses, targeted at different audiences, to train in holistic violence prevention strategies to go after the root causes of mass violence.
The pitch ended in them asking me to build the new website from the ground up, a challenge I happily accepted.
I persevered against FTP and SFTP tools, building a working understanding of software my app-developer father had minimal experience with.
And I made suggestions about how to more fully integrate Jill and James’ data into their vision of a three-pronged approach to violence prevention, and made those ideas come to life.
I spent January 2021 working 30 hours per week developing the Off-Ramp Project, exploring how different WordPress themes would present The Violence Project’s message in different ways.
I found plug-ins that solved problems putting together a learning management system presented, researching which one would best fit our needs as a small nonprofit.
I continued working on The Off-Ramp Project during spring of 2020, while taking 18 credits of Grinnell’s online courses, adding pages detailing how to put together crisis response teams, policy suggestions, and resources.
The resources section of The Off-Ramp Project came about from me transferring data collected by a research team of Hamline interns about which mental health, crisis, and advocacy organizations provided services nationally and in each of the 50 states. Altogether, I added over 500 organizations to the website for people looking to The Violence Project for help.
When The Off-Ramp Project went live in May 2021, I served as the launch event moderator as Jill and James presented their research and showed off how their work could lead to tangible results in preventing mass shootings.