Ashlyn Hary, Director of Community Based Behavioral Health at One Common Unity, Advocates for the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement

Washington, DC, February 23, 2024 – One Common Unity’s Director of Community Based Behavioral Health, Ashlyn Harty, provided testimony on behalf of the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE) as they presented at a city council performance oversight hearing on February 14th, 2024. 

ONSE has been a close partner of One Common Unity’s Peace Together program since their development of it in 2022. ONSE continues to be the agency in D.C. that provides the most referrals to our Peace Together program to emotionally support youth across the district who have been impacted by gun violence. 

The hearing focused on learning more about how ONSE has been operating in the city, including its violence interruption programs. 

ONSE serves a critical need in the community. They provide families impacted by gun violence with resources to support their basic needs that may have changed instantly because of a violent incident.”

Ms. Hardy

One Common Unity provided testimony in support of ONSE, as ONSE serves an important role in supporting families in accessing community-based resources.  “We have had a positive relationship with ONSE and the amazing work that they do with the youth and their families across D.C that have been impacted by violence,” says Ms. Hardy.

Please click here to read Ashlyn’s full testimony.


About One Common Unity

For more than 20 years, One Common Unity’s (OCU) high-impact, holistic programming has engaged over 35,000 youth, families, and educators in the DC area to lead a shift away from violence through in-school and after-school programs, mental health services, citywide campaigns, teacher trainings, family engagement sessions, community concerts, and art showcases.

One Common Unity builds compassionate, healthy communities through the transformative power of music, arts, and peace education. The organization places highly skilled artist-facilitators and mental health therapists in DC schools to improve students’ behavioral health outcomes and provide trauma-informed care.

One Common Unity’s flagship prevention program, Fly By Light, trains the next generation of youth leaders in social-emotional literacy and non-violent communication. The Intention Room, the organization’s innovative model for restorative justice, offers an effective strategy to prevent in- and out-of-school suspensions and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

Founded in 2000 out of concern for the epidemic of violence in Washington, DC, and the United States, today One Common Unity’s arts education and strengths-based youth programming has evolved to offer mental wellness, conflict resolution, leadership development, and community engagement opportunities in safe, culturally appropriate settings.

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