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Beyond Policy: Understanding Gun Violence Prevention

Gun violence is the leading cause of death of children and teens in the United States, having disproportionately impacted BIPOC communities for generations. For far too long, the emphasis on gun violence reduction has focused on easy accessibility to guns without addressing the root causes and demanding direct input from those communities most impacted. This, combined with the recent surge in firearm sales, a global pandemic, and racial tensions at an all-time high, has created a more vital need than ever for a collaborative approach to the public health epidemic of gun violence and firearm suicide. Community development, early childhood education, arts, health, equity, and other crucial aspects of a thriving society will continue to suffer if these communities are still plagued by gun violence.

Although California has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, and the recent passage of the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has increased attention and funding toward fighting this epidemic, we are seeing approaches shift from “legislation as the main means of change” to other strategies, particularly ones that are community-based and community-led. The root causes and consequences of rampant gun violence are intersectional, and approaches to change must be as well. Join the Hope and Heal Fund and Philanthropy California for a discussion about philanthropy’s vital role in tackling this public health crisis and how this sector can truly move the needle on preventing gun deaths, injuries, and the generational trauma associated with violence.


  • Rachel Davis, Executive Director, Prevention Institute

Brian Malte

Executive Director

Tracy Ward

Project Manager
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