You can watch a recording of yesterday’s panel discussion HERE
NEW YORK – Yesterday, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) joined Everytown for Gun Safety Managing Director of Community Safety Initiatives, Michael-Sean Spence, Managing Director for Roca Impact Institute, James “JT” Timpson, and Institute for Nonviolence Chicago Outreach Supervisor, James Mitchell, in a virtual discussion on innovative public safety initiatives that are being implemented in Baltimore and Chicago. This panel discussion was part of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund’s Black History Month campaign, which has amplified and celebrated Black advocates and partners of the gun violence prevention movement.
“Black communities are disproportionately harmed and traumatized by the gun violence epidemic, yet their stories are ignored too often in the national conversation about the proliferation of deadly weapons,” said Congresswoman Kelly, Representative of Illinois 2nd District. “To meaningfully combat this deadly cycle of violence, we need to confront the everyday harms caused by guns that create poorer health outcomes, economic disinvestment, and ultimately more violence. The voices of Black leaders are essential to stopping this cycle of violence. I thank Everytown for hosting this important conversation.”
“Our cities are in the midst of a public health crisis driven by persistent gun violence and Black communities have borne the brunt for generations,” said Michael-Sean Spence, managing director of Community Safety Initiatives at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and creator of the Everytown Community Safety Fund. “Fortunately, Black survivors, advocates, faith leaders and elected officials have worked tirelessly to lay the groundwork for a future free of gun violence by ensuring community-based violence intervention organizations have the resources and technical assistance they need to sustain their innovative, life-saving work. I’m proud to join this distinguished group of leaders in office and on the ground as we push our movement towards continued progress.”
While there is no one solution to end gun violence, community violence intervention programs play a key role in making cities safer. Organizations like Roca Baltimore and the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago have been working to prevent gun violence. Implementing a public health model, community-led programs have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods. While these programs are often uniquely situated to address violence in their communities, they need support from policymakers in order to sustain and expand their life-saving work. Leaders and legislators must invest in these community-driven, evidence-based interventions. More information about city gun violence is available here.