Volunteer Position Description
In 2015, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund launched the Survivor Fellowship Program, a two-year volunteer leadership program exclusively for survivors of gun violence across the country, in recognition that survivor voices are critical to raising awareness and changing hearts and minds about gun violence with the goal of educating audiences and giving them a way to become involved in and connect to the gun violence prevention movement. The program also aims to build a community of advocates and provide opportunities to exchange ideas and learn from one another.
We recognize that gun violence in any form can leave a lasting impact on individuals, families, and communities. The Everytown Survivor Fellowship Program is open to anyone who has been directly impacted by gun violence — whether they have witnessed an act of gun violence, been threatened or wounded with a gun, or had someone they cared for wounded or killed with a gun. This can include but is not limited to gun homicides (solved and unsolved), gun suicides, community violence, domestic violence involving a gun and unintentional shootings with improperly stored guns.
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Interested high school, college, and grad school students should apply to the Students Demand Action Fellowship Program.
About the Survivor Fellowship Program
Fellows receive training on speaking before local community groups, testifying on common-sense gun laws, effective storytelling, participating in media interviews, and more. Learning how to identify and secure speaking opportunities, share their stories, and give speeches and presentations, equips Fellows to educate new audiences about gun violence and help grow the gun violence prevention movement nationwide. The program also aims to bring survivors together to build a community of advocates, and provide opportunities to exchange ideas and learn from one another.
During their two-year term, Fellows act as leaders in both the Everytown Survivor Network and their state Moms Demand Action Chapter. As a leader in their Moms Demand Action chapter, they have increased opportunities to engage with their community, speak at Moms Demand Action events, receive ongoing correspondence and updates on programs and campaigns, attend Moms Demand Action membership and/or leadership meetings, and participate in additional trainings.We recognize that deciding to share your personal experience with gun violence is a deeply personal choice and may not be right for everyone. Sharing your story is one of many ways someone can make a difference in the gun violence prevention movement. If you are new to sharing your story and would like to learn more about whether sharing in this context would be a good fit for you, we encourage folks to take this self assessment to determine your comfort level.
We are committed to seeking diverse experiences that tell the full story of gun violence in America. Priority will be given to those who have demonstrated a commitment to proactively identifying opportunities to share their story, and are interested in further developing their public speaking and communication skills. Based upon our experience and feedback from past Fellows, those who are most successful in this program have had prior experience sharing their story with family and friends or speaking to local organizations, are comfortable taking the initiative to approach organizations and share their story with different audiences, and have a plan to sustain their emotional health and well-being, including an existing network of support. For those interested in developing their story-sharing skills but are not yet looking to make the level of commitment required by the Fellowship program, there are additional training tools and resources available through the Survivor Network.
- Must have been personally affected by gun violence, including, but not necessarily limited to, having witnessed an act of gun violence, been threatened or wounded with a gun, or had someone you cared for wounded or killed with a gun.
- Willingness to commit to finding your own speaking engagements and sharing your experience with gun violence
- Willingness to learn from peers and share experiences with other survivors both in the Fellowship program and those interested in advocacy
- Demonstrated experience in sharing your story in public
- A letter of recommendation from your Moms Demand Action chapter and/or another community leader. The person recommending you may complete this form as an alternative to a letter.
- Willingness to support your Moms Demand Action Chapter goals
- Strong contacts within your community that may provide you with speaking opportunities
- A personal self-care plan and a strong primary support network to ensure that you have ongoing support while sharing your story
Fellowship Requirements and Responsibilities
Fellows are required to:
- Identify and secure at least five story-sharing opportunities on their own throughout each year of their two-year term. Story sharing includes but is not limited to public speaking, testifying on legislation, and participating in media interviews for news and feature stories.
- Complete brief reports about their speaking opportunities, media interviews and other advocacy activities to help staff best support Fellows and to measure the collective impact of the program.
Fellows are required to participate in:
- Series of 8-10 90 minute virtual onboarding trainings via webinar or conference call
- Ongoing Moms Demand Action leadership trainings via live and on-demand webinars or conference calls throughout the year
- Quarterly Fellowship program calls
Requirements for all leaders and team members
- Committed to building a chapter that represents the racial diversity of the population of the state, as well as other key demographics outlined in the chapter’s priorities.
- Values different perspectives and proactively engages people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences in order to build a strong movement
- Committed to developing and implementing skills to effectively work across lines of difference.
Everytown will provide Fellows with:
- Ongoing training and program support from Fellowship program staff
- Access to training materials, toolkits, policy briefings, and updates
- Opportunities to connect with other survivors to exchange knowledge and best practices, including Senior Fellows who are committed to mentoring new Fellows
- Opportunities to learn from experts in the field
For some survivors, sharing their personal experiences with gun violence can range be everything from deeply rewarding to potentially re-traumatizing. We believe your health and wellness is paramount to taking on any type of leadership and public role in this movement. While Everytown is committed to creating a community of support for survivors and many survivors describe connecting with other survivors and their advocacy work as emotionally healing, the organization does not offer direct services such as counseling, financial support, or legal assistance. Your involvement, if you choose to partner with us, requires that you have a personal plan and network of support to sustain your emotional well-being.
Conflict of Interest Policy
As Fellows are a public face and voice for the Everytown Survivor Network and Moms Demand Action chapter in their respective state/area, they may not hold a paid leadership, lobbying, or public role with another Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) organization or with any organization whose mission or activities are inconsistent with that of Everytown/Moms Demand Action. Volunteer leadership roles in other GVP groups may not be a conflict of interest, but should also be disclosed and discussed with Fellowship program staff, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If a Fellow wishes to be visible in a public venue in his/ her personal capacity on a GVP issue that is outside Everytown/Moms Demand Action policy framework, they should discuss these opportunities with Fellowship program staff to make a determination. These opportunities will also be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
If you are interested in joining the Fellowship program, please complete both these steps by Wednesday, August 31, 2022 to be considered for the 2023 Fellowship Program:
- Fill out the application. It should take around 20 minutes to complete.
- Send us a brief letter of recommendation about why you would be a good fit for this program. You are welcome to either send us an email at [email protected] with the letter or fill out this form as an alternative. Please be sure to include your name and reference the 2023 Fellowship Application in the subject line. The recommendation can come from a leader in your community or someone with whom you have worked closely.
After the application process closes, Fellowship Program leaders will respond within a week by email and telephone interviews will be conducted with those who meet the program qualifications and requirements. All applicants will be notified if they have been accepted into the program by October 1, 2022.
If you would like to request a paper copy of this application be mailed to you rather than filling out the application online, please contact [email protected] with your name and address. We are committed to making this application accessible to everyone.
If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please email [email protected].
Who We Are
About the Everytown Survivor Network
The Everytown Survivor Network is a nationwide community of survivors working together to end gun violence. The Survivor Network connects survivors to each other, amplifies the power of survivor voices, offers trauma-informed programs, provides information on direct services and supports survivors who choose to become advocates.
As part of your leadership role we provide resources, trainings and expect everyone to learn and develop the following skill set:
- Understanding how stereotypes, bias, and forms of racism in America (including structural racism, implicit bias, gender bias, religious bias, and bias based on gender identity or sexual orientation) impact our society and an ability to articulate the connection between these large societal issues and the disproportionate impact of gun violence on specific demographic groups in America.
- Understanding how dynamics of power, voice, and privilege impact one-on-one and group interactions, and a commitment to using power, voice, and privilege to make our movement more equitable.
- A commitment to share direct feedback with others and listen to and implement feedback given.
- Commitment to building diverse teams and learning management skills for equity and inclusion.
- Ability to help other people in our movement develop this same skill set and knowledge base. As with all other organizing skills the expectation is that over time leaders would also develop the ability to train other volunteers in these areas.