Starting in 1999, Ribbon of Promise developed a grass-roots campaign against school violence. The campaign, also known as Ribbon of Promise or ROP, grew out of community response to a fatal school shooting in Springfield, Ore., in May 1998, which left two dead and 25 wounded.
The next day, Springfield firefighters distributed blue ribbons throughout the city as a sign of local resolve to end such incidents. Local volunteers adopted the symbol and formed a nonprofit organization to encourage communities across the nation to take steps against school violence.
Ribbon of Promise pursued activities in four areas:
- Raising public awareness of school violence and prevention strategies.
- Providing the public with information about school violence.
- Identifying promising approaches to end school violence.
- Developing tools to help communities cope in the aftermath of school violence.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the campaign development with a $50,000 grant.