This Northern California Grantmakers Oct. 7, 2020 webinar was co-sponsored by Cal Wellness, Philanthropy CA, and Hope and Heal Fund.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic and tensions over police violence following the death of George Floyd has brought a new chapter to America’s gun violence crisis. States recorded a historically high surge in firearm purchases amid the pandemic. In some cities where community gun violence is a persistent issue, overall crime is down, but gun homicides increased significantly compared to last year.
Meanwhile, even as many Americans stayed home during quarantines, police fatally remained at the same rate through June 2020 as they did in 2019. Divergent police responses to Black Lives Matter protests and armed white counter-protesters have only exacerbated mistrust between communities affected by gun violence and law enforcement agencies. A growing number of Americans support calls for change to the criminal justice system and the way law enforcement operates. Research indicates that a lack of trust in police departments may lead to higher levels of gun violence in American neighborhoods.
"Reimagining Safety: Community-Driven Solutions to Gun Violence" explored how community-driven gun violence intervention strategies help us reimagine safety during this public health crisis and beyond.
During the webinar, we:
- Discovered the main findings of in-depth local reporting on gun violence in the Bay area.
- Explored solutions to community violence.
- Discussed philanthropy’s role in ensuring that there is a fundamental repair of the police state that centers on racial justice.
- Identified opportunities for funding organizations that are aligned with community needs on how to reduce gun violence.