About the Program
Gun violence in any form can leave a lasting impact on individuals, families, and communities. People who have been personally impacted by gun violence are critical to raising awareness about the epidemic of gun violence in America by putting a human face to the numbers and giving people a way to become involved in the gun safety movement.
In recognition of this, in 2015 Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund launched The Everytown Survivor Fellowship Program, a 2-year volunteer educational leadership and advocacy training program for people affected by gun violence of all kinds who are interested in sharing their story with community groups, elected officials and the media to raise awareness and motivate people to take action to end gun violence in America.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The Everytown Survivor Fellowship Program is exclusively open to individuals who have been directly personally impacted by gun violence of any kind, whether they have witnessed an act of gun violence, been threatened or wounded with a gun, or had someone they know or care for wounded or killed with a gun. This can include but is not limited to gun homicides (solved and unsolved), gun suicides, community gun violence, police shootings, domestic violence involving a gun and unintentional shootings of improperly stored guns.
Any individual 18 years of age or older who identifies as having a personal experience with gun violence of any kind is welcome to apply. Interested high school, college or university, and grad school students should apply to the Students Demand Action Fellowship Program.
We recognize that deciding to share your lived 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 and visit our website Moments That Survive to read the stories of survivors in their own words.
What Are the Program Expectations?
Once accepted, Survivor Fellows will complete a series of onboarding training sessions on speaking before local community groups, effective storytelling, testifying on common-sense gun laws, participating in media interviews, and more. Fellows who successfully complete all onboarding requirements will be invited to attend an in-person opportunity to put their skills into practice and speak their truth to power on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
During their 2-year tenure in the program, Survivor Fellows act as leaders in both the Everytown Survivor Network and their state and/or local Moms Demand Action Chapter and will be expected to find, share and report out on 5 story sharing engagements over the course of the calendar year (10 engagements over the course of 2 years) in which they harness the power of their training and share their experiences with gun violence in a trauma-informed way to motivate others to take action in the fight to end gun violence.
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.
Examples of story sharing engagements can include but are not limited to: speaking with a club/group, testifying, giving media interviews, publishing op-eds or letters to the editor, or meeting with your legislator/local representative.
Survivor Fellows who have successfully completed and recorded 5 story sharing engagements each year of their Fellowship have three options at the end of their two-year term:
- Recommit to the Fellowship for another 2 years as a Returning Fellow
- Transition into the Senior Fellow role, focusing on mentoring new and incoming Fellows
- Exit the program
In addition to what is listed above, all Survivor Fellows are expected to:
- Attend Quarterly Fellowship program calls
- Participate in ongoing Moms Demand Action leadership trainings via live and on-demand webinars or conference calls throughout the year
- Commit 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
- Value different perspectives and proactively engages people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences in order to build a strong movement
- Commit to developing and implementing skills to effectively work across lines of difference
All Fellows Receive:
- Ongoing training and program support from Fellowship program staff
- Access to training materials, toolkits, policy briefings, and updates
- Opportunities to connect in-person and virtually 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
- Must be at least 18 years of age and 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
- Willingness to support your Moms Demand Action Chapter goals
- A personal self-care plan and a strong primary support network to ensure that you have ongoing support while sharing your story
- A completed application and letter of recommendation from your Moms Demand Action chapter and/or another community leader no later than July 31, 2023.
We are committed to seeking diverse experiences that tell the full story of daily gun violence in America, beyond what typically makes the headlines. 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 Everytown Survivor Network.
For some survivors, sharing their personal experiences with gun violence can range 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.
How Do I Apply?
The Fellowship Program accepts applications once per year for one month. Applications for the 2024 cohort must be received between July 1, 2023 and July 31, 2023.
There are no extensions granted to this deadline. Anyone unable to meet this year’s timeframe is welcome to try again the following year and/or complete this application request form to be notified of the next time the application window re-opens.
If you are interested, please complete both these steps no later than Monday, July 31, 2023 to be considered for the 2024 Cohort of the Everytown Survivor Fellowship Program.
- Fill out the application. It should take between 20-30 minutes to complete.
- Have a member of your community or someone with whom you’ve worked closely send us a brief letter of recommendation about why they would be a good fit for this program by emailing us at [email protected] with the letter. Please ask them to include your name and reference the 2024 Fellowship Application in the subject line.
After the application window closes, Fellowship Program staff 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 September 15, 2023.
If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please email [email protected].
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.
Meet the Everytown Survivor Fellowship Team
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.