Chris Cooper

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Chris Cooper
National Training Officer

ccooper@youthalive.org | (510) 594-2588 x314

National Training Officer Chris Cooper says he was raised by a village, under the wings and watchful eyes of his big family from Liberia, West Africa, Compton, California and fellow church members. “I’m grateful for all the people who invested in me,” says Chris. He has spent his entire adult life re-investing in youth, first in his hometown of south Sacramento, and now here in Oakland with Youth ALIVE! Actually, Chris’s work here has a national scope. His job is to support programs and communities across the nation that have adopted Youth ALIVE!’s model of community-based violence prevention. He works with programs across the country, from Boston, to Philadelphia, to the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota and more. Chris takes great pride in growing up in a rough neighborhood historically known to be plagued by violence and low-income, but, as Chris says, “Anyone who is from South Sac, is resilient.” Gun violence affected those close to Chris many times in his life, but he began to intentionally advocate for violence prevention and intervention when his football teammate was shot and killed weeks before an opening season game his junior year of high school. Since then, Chris has been committed to youth and community service. After spending six years as a K-12th grade educator, three years managing a summer violence reduction program and three years as a hospital-based violence intervention specialist supporting violently injured youth in Sacramento, he’s now helping others understand how to implement this life-saving approach to prevention and healing. Chris understands that systems oppress, and that violence is often an expression of that oppression. He’s glad to be helping to mobilize a movement to interrupt systemic oppression and treat violence as public health crisis nationally. “I’ll forever be in this field,” says Chris. “I have more in me to do. I found my niche.” Chris is rooted in creativity with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Marketing Design, is a graduate of the City of Sacramento Management Academy, and a Master of Public Administration in Government and Policy class of 2020 candidate. Chris enjoys eating good food, watching and playing football, meeting new people, traveling to new places, and “loving and supporting people who continuously go overlooked.”