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Community Safety Fund Grantees

Everytown Community Safety Fund April 2024 Recap

The Everytown Community Safety Fund (CSF) supports nonprofit organizations implementing community-based violence intervention (CVI) programs. CVI efforts are a necessary part of a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence in America.

The CSF delivers resources to help CVI organizations sustain and scale their life-saving work. The CSF does this work via direct investment through grants, capacity-building training, peer convenings, and collaborative advocacy support.

In April 2024, the CSF spotlighted its work and grantees at various convenings across the country. Read more below about the presentations, convenings, and grantees we celebrated last month.

CVIPI Grantee Conference

On April 2-5, the Everytown Community Safety Fund participated in the annual Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) Grantee Conference. It was hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in Chicago. 

The conference centered on improving the implementation of violence intervention programs. It also gathered community violence intervention (CVI) grantees to network with grant managers and other grantees. 

Michael-Sean Spence, the Managing Director of Everytown for Gun Safety’s Community Safety Initiatives, represented Everytown on the keynote panel discussing emerging gun violence prevention policy work at DOJ’s CVIPI conference.

  • Building a Policy-Focused Movement to End Gun Violence

    Michael-Sean Spence participated in the “Building a Policy-Focused Movement to End Gun Violence” panel. The panel sought to identify how the CVI field is working to build out policies that will strengthen and sustain CVI efforts. Spence spoke about how Everytown has found success in gathering wide-ranging assistance for CVI. He also reflected on the future of CVI.

    Cecelia Munoz, the former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, moderated the panel. Other participants were Paul Carrillo, Vice President of Giffords Center for Violence Intervention; and Shakyra Diaz, Chief of Federal Advocacy for the Alliance of Safety and Justice.

  • Nonprofit Capacity Building: The Community Justice Accelerator

    Michael-Sean joined other nonprofit leaders to discuss The Community Justice Accelerator, an initiative developed by LISC for DOJ’s CVIPI grantees on the “Nonprofit Capacity Building” panel. Panelists shared about the evolution of the accelerator, as well as how it supports the work of grassroots nonprofit organizations.

LIFE Camp Sneakerball Gala

On April 7, 2024, community violence intervention and gun violence prevention organizers gathered at the Sneakerball Gala. The celebration honored Erica Ford’s 22 years of leadership as she passed the baton of leadership to the next generation of LIFE Camp leaders.

Ford, an early leader in the community violence intervention space, founded Love Ignites Freedom thru Education (LIFE) Camp, Inc., in April 2002. Her organization strives to do five things:

  1. Reduce gun violence
  2. Create connections
  3. Build healthy families 
  4. Develop leaders
  5. Scale results

LIFE Camp was one of the first organizations to receive funding through the CSF grantee program. Everytown Community Safety Initiatives Program Manager Nathalie Arzu and Associate Director of Engagement and Assessment Dr. Cherrell Green joined Nick Suplina, senior vice president of law and policy at Everytown and Moms Demand Action Executive Director Angela Ferrell-Zabala to celebrate Ford’s leadership and the legacy of peacebuilding that she leaves as she steps out of her formal leadership role.

The RISE Summit

Everytown participated in The RISE Summit on Social Determinants of Health, held April 15–17 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Social determinants of health are “the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they include:

  • Income and social protection;
  • Education;
  • Unemployment and job insecurity; 
  • Early childhood development; and
  • Structural conflict.

Michael-Sean Spence co-presented a session at the conference with Christa Green, the Program Director of Turning the Tide Violence Intervention Program, a current CSF grantee. Their session was titled Healing Communities: Tackling Gun Violence Disparities in Black Neighborhoods with a Public Health Approach. The presentation focused on the impact of gun violence on economic and social disparities, the effects of which are particularly acute for Black families, neighborhoods, and communities in the U.S.

Advance Peace Annual Forum

On April 16–18, Nathalie Arzu and Dr. Cherrell Green joined Advance Peace in Omaha, Nebraska, for their fourth annual forum.

Advance Peace was one of our first-ever CSF grantees, and we are honored to continue supporting their crucial work.

Advance Peace leads the Peacemaker Fellowship training for CVI organizations in Omaha. The Annual Forum is an integral part of this program, which convenes local CVI organizations—including current CSF grantees YouTurn Omaha and VIP Fort Worth—and those from sister cities across the country. These organizations receive training from:

UMD Violence Reduction Center Symposium

On April 30, the University of Maryland’s Center for the Study and Practice of Violence Reduction (VRC) hosted a symposium discussing best practices for analyzing community gun violence. This analysis is crucial for developing effective anti-violence strategies.

Everytown’s Senior Vice President of Law and Policy Nick Suplina and Managing Director of Community Initiatives Michael-Sean Spence both participated in the symposium. The symposium sought to increase the capacity for conducting community gun violence analysis nationwide. More than 30 experts in community violence convened at the symposium. According to the VRC, “insights from the symposium will be used to create a white paper” to be released later this summer on community gun violence analysis. 

“Recognizing gun violence as a pressing public health issue, we understand the nuanced challenges each city faces, requiring intentional problem analysis and tailored strategies for success,” said Everytown CSI’s Michael-Sean Spence, a 2004 UMD alumnus. “Through this critical endeavor, the VRC is poised to enhance its capability to deliver the crucial support cities need to implement effective solutions.”

Grantee Updates

COMPASS Youth Collaborative

On April 19, 2024, Mackenzie Scott’s philanthropy organization, Yield Giving, awarded $2 million to COMPASS Youth Collaborative, a current CSF grantee based in Hartford, Connecticut. COMPASS focuses on helping youth transform their relationships, reconnect to their education, and prepare for their careers. 

On April 1, 2024, COMPASS founder Jacquelyn Santiago Nazario was named one of Connecticut’s 2024 Top 25 Women in Business by the Hartford Business Journal.


In early April, Congresswoman Cori Bush helped announce $3 million in federal funding to the Bullet Related Injury Clinic (BRIC). This grant will help expand the BRIC, increasing the impact of the life-saving strategies that Director Dr. LJ Punch is implementing. The BRIC is a current CSF grantee.

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