BREAKING: Amid Historic Levels of Gun Violence, Everytown Launches $25 Million Emergency Initiative to Support Community-Based Violence Intervention Programs
With Emergency Action Needed to Support Proven Interventions, Initiative Will Start Distributing Funding This Month
Everytown Will Also Continue to Provide Capacity-Building Training, Data Tools, Research and Consultation
Work Will Provide a Bridge to and Help Unlock Forthcoming Federal Funding
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (Everytown Support Fund), an arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, today announced the creation of the Everytown Community Safety Fund, a new initiative dedicated to supporting community-based violence intervention programs. Everytown Support Fund is committing $25 million to the initiative, and will distribute funds over the course of five years to local organizations through competitive grants. Over $1 million dollars will be distributed to 2021 grantees in the next month. In addition to financial support, grantees will participate in quarterly peer networking calls, attend an annual convening, consult with Everytown staff, and receive tailored capacity-building training and access to Everytown’s data tools and research.
This grant program represents a major expansion of the organization’s investment in community-based gun violence prevention. A list of community-based gun violence intervention organizations currently supported by Everytown is at the bottom of this release.
“Many cities are seeing jarring spikes in shootings, and the need to invest in proven interventions is more urgent than it’s been in decades,” said Michael-Sean Spence, director of community safety initiatives at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “Gun violence was already a crisis before COVID-19, but the pandemic has exacerbated the underlying drivers and quickened the rise of the gun violence currently plaguing our cities. Community-based violence intervention programs have the hyperlocal expertise and approach essential to reversing these spikes, and they deserve the necessary resources to sustain and expand their life-saving work.”
“Local organizations fighting gun violence are used to doing more with less, but the past year has brought challenges that have directly affected our capacity to serve our communities,” said Ryane B. Nickens, founder and president of the TraRon Center, a community-based gun violence prevention organization in Washington, D.C. “Even as we increased the scope of our work to help fight the spread of COVID-19, we’ve been responding to a sharp increase in gun violence — one with a particularly heavy toll on young people — all amid an uncertain funding environment. Everytown’s support has been a lifeline during this turbulent year, and the expansion of its grant program is outstanding news for cities like the District of Columbia.”
“The surge in shootings we’re seeing won’t recede by itself,” said Anthony Smith, executive director of Cities United, which supports a national network of mayors and community leaders who are committed to reducing the epidemic of homicides and shootings among young Black men and boys. “We must act now so that the communities hardest hit won’t have to deal with increased gun violence for the foreseeable future. Our front-line groups within these communities are working overtime to prevent the situation from getting any worse, and they need more support. These organizations are central to community violence prevention and intervention efforts, and Everytown’s expanded investment in their work is right on time.”
As the Biden-Harris Administration has underscored with its historic commitment to support community violence intervention strategies and provide access to federal funds, community-based violence intervention programs will play a crucial role in addressing the country’s gun violence crisis. Everytown Support Fund’s grants provide an immediate and flexible lifeline to programs that may qualify for federal support and can help groups prepare to unlock federal funding at a time when many of these programs have been stretched far past capacity.
Over the next five years, Everytown Support Fund will support 100 community-based intervention programs, adding 40 community-based organizations to its supported cohort while sustaining support to the 60 programs Everytown has supported over the past two years. A full list of current grantees is at the bottom of this press release, and Everytown Support Fund will be announcing 10 newly added organizations in the coming weeks.
The initial commitment of $25 million represents a doubling of Everytown’s commitment to its community gun violence grant program, and it’s a response to the significant need among local organizations for immediate support as they work to stay afloat and apply for federal funding. Everytown Support Fund will also be seeking additional funding from corporate partners and other private donors interested in supporting the program, including through donations targeted at specific cities and states.
The Fund will initially support two grant opportunities:
- Long-term support grants which provide community-based violence intervention programs with funding, peer engagement and capacity building
- Smaller sustainer grants, which provide programs with a lifeline to help them sustain their efforts during an unexpected event or crisis.
Grantee selection follows a rigorous process administered by Everytown staff with input from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and an external review panel of nearly a dozen subject matter experts from across the country, with input from the Everytown Community Safety Fund advisory board, a distinguished group of mayors, researchers, practitioners and business leaders who represent our diversity and recognize the importance of giving back. In addition to financial support, grantees participate in quarterly peer networking calls, attend an annual convening, consult with Everytown staff, and receive tailored capacity-building training and access to Everytown’s data tools and research.
Gun-related homicides are concentrated in American cities, with more than 50% of gun-related homicides occurring in just 127 cities, and even further concentrated into pockets of gross inequity.
Although community-based violence intervention programs have proven to be effective at stopping the cycle of violence in cities, they are historically underfunded. Private donations and corporate support can go a long way towards getting these programs off the ground and replicating them in different cities, but access to data, technical support, research, and–most of all–government funding is necessary to build these programs to scale and create a sustainable model for ongoing success.
In 2020, cities saw a historic rise in gun-related homicides amidst a global pandemic. Cities began asking violence intervention programs to leverage their earned trust and credibility to supplement public health emergency campaigns, while continuing to respond to each shooting, frequently in the same communities. To meet these unprecedented challenges, these historically underfunded programs need additional support.
Below is a list of community-based gun violence intervention organizations currently supported by Everytown:
414Life, Milwaukee, WI
Advance Peace, Richmond, Stockton & Sacramento, CA
Alliance for Concerned Men,Washington, DC
California Partnership for Safe Communities, Oakland, CA
Center For Family Services – Cure4Camden, Camden, NJ
CHRIS 180, Atlanta, GA
Faith in Action Alabama, Birmingham, AL
Gideon’s Army, Nashville, TN
Growing Kings, Birmingham, AL
Inner City Innovators, West Palm Beach, FL
Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, Chicago, IL
Kansas City Mothers in Charge, Kansas City, MO
Life Camp, Inc., New York, NY
Metropolitan Family Services , Chicago, IL
Mothers In Charge – Philadelphia, PA
New Orleans Cure Violence, New Orleans, LA
No More Red Dots, Louisville, KY
Philadelphia CeaseFire, Philadelphia, PA
Project L.I.F.E., Minneapolis, MN
Project Longevity, New Haven, Hartford, & Bridgeport, CT
ROCA – Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace, Pittsburgh, PA
TraRon Center, Washington, DC
Urban Peace Institute, Los Angeles, CA and national
YouthAlive!, Oakland, CA (multiple cities)
YouTurn Omaha, Omaha, NE