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Community Safety Fund Grantees

On Giving Tuesday, Invest in Community-Based Violence Intervention Organizations

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On the last Tuesday in November, non-profit organizations across the nation and around the world lean into the generosity of everyday people to support the critical efforts of organizations working to reduce harm, build safer communities, and ensure community-led efforts have the resources to implement the change we need to live fuller lives.

I am Everytown for Gun Safety’s Managing Director of Community Safety Initiatives and Founding Director of the Everytown Community Safety Fund. My team has delivered grants to 117 community-based violence intervention organizations operating in 67 cities, and they’ve shared the persistent challenges they navigate daily. Some organizations need additional staff to expand capacity due to persistent gun violence. Others need equipment and training to prepare staff to intervene and de-escalate violence. Some need to provide safe spaces and support to program participants to reduce their vulnerability to violence. Their needs are diverse and comprehensive. That’s why the grants we deliver provide flexibility to combat these obstacles.

Many of these organizations are led by people who have fashioned creative solutions to sustain their work, yet still suffer from a lack of sustained investment. Far too often, funds sourced from other institutions are tied to existing programs, reimbursement-based, or limited to the number of participants enrolled in a program. As a result, those standards prevent organizations from using this support to meet emerging needs or support emergency responses.

Through the Everytown Community Safety Fund, we provide unrestricted grants to help meet that need. We also offer training to help leaders expand and refine their work. We advocate alongside them to amplify their progress, and to position them to unlock additional resources from government, corporate, and philanthropic stakeholders. 

In August, we convened our current grantees alongside our Moms Demand Action volunteers in Chicago to discuss the impact gun violence has had on Black, Latinx, and Native communities, which are historically marginalized and disproportionately impacted by gun violence and other public health epidemics. 

Dr. Aquil Basheer, author, founder, and executive director of the Brotherhood Unified for Independent Leadership Through Discipline Program (BUILD) at the USC Price Safe Communities Institute, queried, “How you gone tell me if you can’t feel me?” His question amplifies the importance of delivering support while also engaging frontline practitioners to learn what kind of support they need most.

Angie Villescaz, founder of Fierce Madres, which provides support to families in Uvalde, Texas impacted by the tragic shooting at the Robb Elementary School, reminded us how critical Everytown’s financial support has been. She also noted how gun violence has increased exponentially since the pandemic, tragically impacting more children every year. She echoes recent analysis from Everytown Research, which shows gun violence has become the leading cause of death for youth and teens since 2020. 

Pastor Jonathan Old Horse from the Wambli Ska Society, a Native-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing gun violence and ending the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, noted the structural barriers to support in many of our most marginalized communities. He highlighted how critical it is to help survivors access direct support that allows them to live safer and healthier lives as they navigate those barriers.

This Giving Tuesday, we have a chance to provide the critical support our community leaders need and are asking for. This support will help maintain programs that help youth escape the scourge of gun violence. And it will assist marginalized communities in navigating structural barriers to ultimately reduce gun violence in cities across the nation.

Join the Everytown Community Safety Fund this Giving Tuesday in providing support to community-based violence intervention programs across the nation, starting with those in your own city. These organizations need our collective investment urgently in response to the persistent gun violence epidemic impacting our nation. We can’t wait.

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