BALTIMORE (WJZ) — From the Capitol riots to recent social unrest and shootings across Baltimore City, violence is everywhere we turn.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore is studying violence. Researchers said they believe violence is preventable because it’s predictable.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1K New Cases & 17 Deaths Reported Sunday
“There’s something about the structures of society, that because of issues like inequality really begin to exacerbate people’s experiences of violence,” Flavius Lilly, Vice Dean of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School, said.
Lilly is leading the master’s degree program in vulnerability and violence reduction.
He said he plans to look at the ways countries and societies are set up, knowing inequalities are often at the root of violence and aggression.
“Political oppression, for instance, is a form of vulnerability that can lead to violence,” Lilly said. “We see it all over the world. You see it in our country. You’ve seen it recently.”
The school started forming the degree after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody back in 2015.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Grazed By Bullet In Southwest Baltimore, Police Say
It partnered with the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University in the United Kingdom. The University already has a program that studies both violence and the qualities of a peaceful society.
Mike Hardy is a research professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.
“It looks essentially at peaceful communities and the struggles they have with things like violence,” Hardy said. “There sort of developing a joint post-graduate program in which students could ultimately share European as well as United States experiences.”
The program aims to help students implement plans to reduce violence in their communities.
In the future, the program could even work with members of the Baltimore City Police Department, to help them find ways to reduce violence.
“There’s an opportunity for police to take part as students and to learn some of these notions about vulnerability and community-based work,” Lilly said.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Maryland: 1.5K New Cases & 17 Deaths Reported Saturday
The program is designed to be completed in two years and primarily online. The application deadline is July 1.