Issue Areas

Gun Violence

There are almost 12,000 gun murders per year in the U.S. (more than the annual death toll of U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War) and they are the leading cause of death for African-American males and the second leading cause of death for Latino males, ages 18-34. While many have thrown up their hands in despair over these numbers, proven strategies do exist. The U.S. Department of Justice gives a program called Operation Ceasefire its highest rating for reducing gun violence in U.S. cities. The strategy was developed in Boston in the 1990s and resulted in the complete elimination of youth homicides (an accomplishment that was dubbed “the Boston miracle”). Through our organizing efforts we have worked with clergy, young people, police and criminal justice officials in cities such as Sacramento, Stockton, Union City, Oakland, Richmond, Flint, Michigan and Baton Rouge, Louisiana to reduce gun violence through a strategic initiative that saves young African-American and Latino men’s lives, as well as reduces recidivism in these communities. Additionally, Faith in Action federations and partners in Detroit, Fresno, and Indianapolis are working to strengthen and further the strategic implementation of Ceasefire and other strategies that have been proven to reduce gun violence.

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