New University Of Maryland, Baltimore Master's Program Studies Vulnerability, Violence Reduction

From the Capitol riots to recent social unrest and shootings across Baltimore City, violence is everywhere we turn.

Video Transcript

- Over the last year, we have all seen a lot of unrest and outrage. But finding a way to stop the violence before it begins is the focus of a new program at the University of Maryland Baltimore, and WJZ is live. Stetson Miller tells us about the new degree that the school is offering in vulnerability and violence reduction. Stetson?

STETSON MILLER: [INAUDIBLE]. There's nothing else like it anywhere in the country. This program will actually teach students about what causes violence, and then they'll use that knowledge to, hopefully, bring back to their communities and make them safer.

From the capital riots to recent social unrest and shootings across Baltimore City, violence is everywhere we turn. Now, the University of Maryland Baltimore is studying violence, leaving much of it is preventable. Because it's predictable.

FLAVIUS LILLY: There's something about the structures of society that because of issues, like inequality, really, begin to exacerbate people's experience of violence.

- Vice Dean Flavius Lilly is leading the master's degree program in vulnerability and violence reduction. He plans to look at the ways countries and societies are set up, knowing that inequality is often at the root of violence and aggression.

- Political oppression, for instance, is a form of vulnerability that can lead to violence. You 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. The school partnered with the Center for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations with Coventry University in the UK. It already has a program, which studies both violence and the qualities of a peaceful society.

MIKE HARDY: It looks, essentially, at peaceful communities and the struggles they have with things, like violence. And they're sort of developing a joint postgraduate program in which students could, ultimately, share a European, as well as the United States experience.

- 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.

- An opportunity for the police to take part as students and to learn some of these notions about vulnerability and community based work.

- And the program should last about two years, and it is primarily online. The application deadline is July 1. We're live at the University of Maryland Baltimore. Stetson Miller for WJZ.