Michael Greene first became fascinated and impressed with the street intelligence and coping skills of young people in oppressive urban neighborhoods when he read Manchild in the Promised Land as a sophomore in college.
Michael was raised in a working class white family in suburban Chicago. He realized while reading Manchild that with his upbringing he would have either been in prison or dead had he been transported as an adolescent to the world that Claude Brown describes in his powerful novel. Thus began Michael’s lifelong commitment to understand as best he could the struggles of the youth who reside in our most feared and avoided urban neighborhoods and his belief that strategies adopted elsewhere by youth-led social justice and human rights movements could and must play a central role in our strategic armament. Michael’s specific and elusive goal is to work collaboratively with all interested parties (professionals, academics, as well as grass roots organizers and programs), using the voice and power of the young people themselves, to transform these neighborhoods into thriving centers of innovation and opportunity.
Michael studied developmental psychology at Columbia University, where he received his doctorate in 1980. Over the years, Michael has worked at and with innumerable neighborhood-based agencies, universities, schools, and governmental entities to establish evidence-based and new and promising strategies to prevent the initiation, spread, and worsening of youth violence in urban settings. To do this effectively, Michael pays equal attention to work in academia and to real-world concerns on the ground. He recognizes that individual, familial, school, and neighborhood factors play reciprocal roles in influencing the extent and nature of violence, as do over-arching structural concerns such as racism, poverty, political intransigency, and spirituality. He also recognizes that young people must always have a voice and leadership role in initiating and implementing strategies that liberate and provide opportunity. Finally, Michael recognizes the power of holding governmental agencies and school systems accountable. Certainly in his work as an Expert Witness, he uses every available local, state, and federal law, regulation, policy, and procedural guideline to do battle when the rights of children have been violated.
With experience working outside of and within government agencies (he served as the Juvenile Justice Administrator in New York City for a dozen years), and working within the University and in the trenches, in grant giving and grant seeking, Michael understands the multiple perspectives that need to considered in doing this work. After having created two major centers for the prevention of violence (including the Violence Institute of New Jersey), Michael decided to forego the constraints of bureaucratic institutions and started his own consulting business. Feel free to look at Michael’s Curricula Vitae to see Michael’s range of experiences and accomplishments.
Current and Previous Clients (partial listing)
- National League of Cities
- National Prevention Science Coalition
- The Nicholson Foundation
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
- Community Resource Exchange (New York City)
- Essex County College
- Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
- Violence Prevention Institute (NJ)
- Northern New Jersey Maternal/Child Health Consortium
- Vera Institute of Justice (New York City)
- Education Law Center, New Jersey
- Eleven Private Law Firms, including Lowenstein Sandler PC
- Central Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (Hershey, PA)
- Global Kids (New York City)