National Gun Violence Survivors Week is about elevating our voices and stories, because after living through terrible tragedy, we have found the strength to speak out to help prevent others from experiencing the same pain. It is an emotionally intense week, and after reading and sharing so many stories, I hope you will continue to practice self care and explore resources with the Everytown Survivor Network.
I also wanted to share some of the incredible things you accomplished in the third year of National Gun violence Survivors Week.
Field Events: Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers organized close to 95 virtual events with more than 1700 in attendance, including the first ever NGVSW student summit. Thank you to all of you who organized and spoke at events to ensure survivor voices were heard across the country: from panel discussions to acts of service such as blood drives and book drives, it had a powerful impact.
A moving event lead by California Survivor Engagement Leads
Social Media: Thousands of survivor stories were shared on social media, including 55k mentions of the hashtag #GVSurvivorsWeek and related terms. I was honored to be a part of the Survivor Twitter team — a truly powerful force — who were sharing stories of survivors in the Network all throughout the week to reach more Americans with the urgent message that we must address our country’s gun crisis. If you haven’t already and would like to, you can join the Survivor twitter team here, which engages on campaigns throughout the year.
Federal, State, City Leaders: More than 370 survivors of gun violence released an open letter to the 117th Congress highlighting the shared life-changing trauma of gun violence, which we shared with elected officials and on social media and media during the week. Thank you to all of you who signed the letter.
Our partners in Washington responded by lifting up your voices through social media, virtual conversations, press releases, and floor speeches, including Ambassador Susan Rice, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA-03). The week was even featured during floor speeches in both chambers of Congress by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA).
Beyond the federal government, dozens of mayors and state officials from across the country shared your stories on social media and issued mayoral proclamations. Everytown’s research team also put together a fact sheet for local government leaders on “Community-Led Services for Survivors.”
Partnerships: Over 65 partners, including nearly every gun violence prevention organization, national membership groups, non-profit organizations, and faith partners across various issue areas, joined the effort to lift stories and facts about the impact of gun violence.
In the week leading up to Survivors Week, PEOPLE Magazine released People Features: Gun Violence Survivor Athletes, a virtual roundtable where members of the Everytown Athletic Council shared their personal experiences with gun violence.
Throughout the week, there were many media clips in which survivors spoke out about the impact of gun violence across the country. Here are just a few of them:
Aurora Cox, Gun safety education is vital
Jessica Curran-Lameroux, We need to change our laws so other families aren’t hurt by gun violence
Joshua Harris-Till, I grew up amid gun violence. We don’t have to live like this
Mollie Peterson, My Abusive Husband Had a Gun; Michigan Can Keep Others Safe
Neca Allgood, Survivors of gun violence know we don’t need HB60
An enormous thank you for all that you do.
Together we care,
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