While mass shootings tend to get the most media attention, gun violence occurs in communities almost every day, disproportionately affecting communities of color. Just like COVID-19, gun violence is a public health issue. When it comes to everyday violence, exposure to gun violence is the primary driver of more gun violence.
The good news is, several community-driven approaches have shown a sustained reduction of gun violence in cities and regions across the country. Street outreach, needs assessments, mentoring, workforce development services, and community engagement are the key elements that have effectively reduced gun violence when combined into a well-designed local strategy.
These approaches need multi-sector collaboration to be effective. Local philanthropic institutions like community foundations have a role to play in addressing everyday gun violence and are well-positioned to bring people together to identify the root causes.
By using local, racially disaggregated data, tapping community wisdom, and employing community engagement tools, local collaboratives can make a difference. Partners such as community leaders, civic organizations, local government and local philanthropy can work together to identify and interrupt the factors driving violence at the community level.
We are pleased to offer community foundations an opportunity to explore how they can play a role in reducing gun violence in their communities through our Gun Violence Prevention Network.