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The Joyce Foundation 2012 Year in Review

Gun Violence Prevention

We won’t rest until
communities are safe.


The polling data have never been clearer, or more persuasive. The overwhelming majority of Americans—men and women, gun owners or not, Democrats, Republicans, and independents—want common-sense policies that will help keep us safe.


The Joyce Foundation is working to ensure that the voices of the people reflected in those poll numbers are heard across the nation.


Organizing states’ efforts

The victims of gun violence—the families of those slain at the Sikh temple in August 2012, those gunned down at a suburban Milwaukee spa in October, or those who were shot and killed at Accent Signage in Minneapolis—are eloquent witnesses to the destructive power of guns. Increasingly, survivors of gun violence are finding strong partnerships with Joyce grantees at the state level as the state groups work to build community support for stronger gun policies. For example, Joyce grantee Protect Minnesota is working closely with Sami Rahamim, whose father, Reuven, was shot and killed at Accent Signage Systems, the company he founded. Rahamim has worked with Protect Minnesota to strengthen community engagement around the need for stronger gun laws at the state and federal level. State efforts are critical: congressional reluctance to enact gun violence prevention policies has shifted the debate to the states and placed an added burden on state-level advocacy and outreach.


Empowering the faith community

America’s clergy are deeply concerned about gun violence in their communities and across the U.S. Faith leaders speak with moral authority and have influence far beyond their own congregations. At the national level, PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing campaign, supported by Joyce, is recruiting and training 100 clergy and lay leaders in 10 cities—including Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia—to be effective advocates for gun violence prevention, with a particular focus on organizing urban communities impacted by gun violence. Shortly after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, PICO was crucial to organizing a vigil outside of the White House, mourning the victims of the tragedy and calling for federal action. PICO’s lead organizer, Michael McBride, an Oakland-based pastor, led more than 200 participants through the vigil, which generated international attention and catalyzed the public campaign for stronger gun laws after Newtown. At the local level, Joyce grantee the Faith Community of St. Sabina—which is located in a Chicago community hard hit by gun violence—is working to build a statewide coalition of faith leaders to educate policy makers and the media about the need for gun violence prevention reforms in Illinois.


Giving voice to teachers

Founded in 1857, the National Education Association represents 3.2 million educators and school support personnel, passionate advocates for the growth and development of our country’s children. Last year, the Joyce Foundation partnered with the NEA’s Health Information Network to involve teachers in the national conversation about how to reduce gun violence, especially among school-aged children. Since then, NEA’s Health Information Network has developed a program to make information and resources on gun violence prevention policy available to chapters nationwide. After the Newtown tragedy, NEA partnered with the American Federation of Teachers to raise the concerns of teachers about proposals to allow more guns into school buildings.


Supporting those who serve and protect

With Joyce support, law enforcement leaders concerned about the unacceptable level of gun violence in the U.S. have lent weight and impetus to gun policy reform.


The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence—a coalition of nine of the nation’s top law enforcement leadership organizations—developed a policy agenda focused on strengthening the nation’s broken gun background check system. The partnership has been working to educate policy makers and the media about the need for comprehensive background checks and other policies that will protect officer and community safety.


The Police Executive Research Forum, whose members include chief executives of police agencies in the U.S. and around the world, has conducted research studies and convened meetings of law enforcement officials to identify strategies for reducing gun violence. In April 2012, PERF dedicated a session at its annual meeting to present the results of a study on urban gun crime and violence. The event garnered significant press attention, including from The New York Times.


Law enforcement leaders and other stakeholders explored those themes in Minneapolis at the Summit to Combat Gun Violence organized by Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett in January 2013. Nearly 100 participants, including federal, state, and local law enforcement professionals from five states, gathered to coordinate strategy and share information and best practices. Among the speakers, who included prominent researchers and policy analysts, were two who lent special urgency to the proceedings: Sami Rahamim and Dr. Mary Kay Balchunas. Balchunas’s son Jay was a Wisconsin Department of Justice special agent who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2004.


“The trajectory of a bullet goes far beyond the initial piercing blow,” Balchunas said. “It is a watershed moment beyond which nothing is ever the same.” Praising summit participants for their commitment, she noted that multiagency and community partnerships were among the most effective solutions for ending gun violence.

Total Gun Violence Prevention 2012: $5,351,999


American College of Preventive Medicine

Washington, DC $233,398

To continue efforts to build support for the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) program. (1 yr)


Ceasefire Pennsylvania Education Fund

Philadelphia, PA $325,000

To support public engagement projects for gun violence prevention policies in Pennsylvania. (1 yr)


Center for American Progress

Washington, DC $100,000

To support a senior fellow on gun policy issues. (1 yr)


Children’s Memorial Foundation

Chicago, IL $14,544

To conduct a strategic planning process for the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System (IVDRS). (9 mos)


Citizens for a Safer Minnesota Education Fund

St. Paul, MN $80,000

To support efforts to educate Minnesotans about gun violence prevention policy. (1 yr)


Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

Washington, DC $125,000

To support the development of national coalitions and to build expertise on the intersection of gun violence and mental health issues.


Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

Chicago, IL $270,000

To support programs to increase awareness about public policies that will improve community safety. (1 yr)


Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research

Baltimore, MD $222,424

For support of research to evaluate the impact of permit-to-purchase handgun licensing laws on violent crime. (2 yrs)


Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

San Francisco, CA $520,000

For continued support to provide legal and technical assistance in support of state and local gun violence prevention policy reform efforts. (2 yrs)


New Venture Fund

Washington, DC

$100,000—For support of the national organizing director for gun violence prevention. (1 yr)

$200,000—To support the Violence and Public Safety initiative. (1 yr)


Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence

Toledo, OH $80,000

To support grassroots organizing and coalition building. (1 yr)


PICO National Network

Oakland, CA $150,000

To engage religious congregations to advocate for state and national policies to stem gun violence in urban neighborhoods. (1 yr)


Police Executive Research Forum

Washington, DC $500,000

To establish a National Gun Violence Research Center. (2 yrs)


The Police Foundation

Washington, DC $310,000

To support the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. (1 yr)


President and Fellows of Harvard College

Boston, MA $650,000

To conduct firearms research, disseminate findings, and conduct the ‘Means Matter’ campaign. (2 yrs)


St. Sabina Church dba The Faith Community of St. Sabina

Chicago, IL $77,633

To support Chicago and statewide coalitions of congregations, organizations, and institutions committed to confronting gun violence. (1 yr)


States United to Prevent Gun Violence

New York, NY $35,000

For web and technical support to state-based gun violence prevention organizations. (1 yr)


United Against Illegal Guns Support Fund

New York, NY $525,000

For continued funding of Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ work to strengthen law enforcement and mayoral partnerships. (1 yr)


University of Toledo

Toledo, OH $24,000

To support two studies of attitudes toward concealed weapons on college campuses. (1 yr)


Violence Policy Center

Washington, DC $450,000

For continued support of research, policy, public education, and advocacy to reduce firearm violence. (1 yr)


WAVE Educational Fund

Milwaukee, WI $360,000

To support the Wisconsin Gun Violence Prevention Project. (1 yr)

gun violence prevention