February 20, 2019 Blog

Call to Action: Gun Violence Awareness “Let’s Talk, Listen, and Act!”

Gun violence in the United States is deeply connected to racial inequities and disproportionately impacts black communities. The following statistics illustrate the racial disparities of gun violence:

  • Black males are 13 times more likely to be victims of gun homicide than white males.
  • Gun homicide is the leading cause of death for young black males aged 15-24.
  • Black males are 3 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white males.
  • Black males are 16 times more likely to be shot and injured in assaults involving firearms than white males.
  • Black women are at least two times more likely to be shot and killed by an intimate partner than white women.
  • Black children are 10 times more likely to be victims of gun homicide than white children.
  • Of the transgender individuals shot and killed in the US in 2017, 80 percent were black women.

In response to the disproportionate impact of gun violence in black and brown communities, I teamed up with Grandmothers Against Gun Violence Board Member Beverly Fletcher to host an event. We wanted to look at how to develop an equal understanding of the human impact and economic toll of intra-cultural gun-related injuries and fatalities in our South Seattle community. It was truly an honor to co-host a Call to Action: Gun Violence Awareness event “Let’s Talk, Listen, and Act!” The event took place the evening of February 19, 2019 at the Rainier Beach Community Center. We were thrilled to welcome amazing guest speakers:

  • Sean Goode, Executive Director of Choose 180 Youth Program
  • Dominique Davis, CEO & Co-Founder of Community Passageways
  • Karissa Taylor King, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, King County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Gregory Davis, Rainier Beach Action Coalition
  • Mary Patu- Jackson, Community Leader

Our goal was for attendees to have a better understanding of community advocacy for intervention and prevention of gun-related violence among black and brown people. We also wanted to help community members understand the impact of gun violence. But, most importantly, we wanted to create space for  everyone to come together to discuss how we can activate community members to have an interest in becoming more involved in grassroots actions, such as advocacy to support ongoing funding and systematic changes to address intra-cultural gun violence.

This event was a great success! More than 150 attendees included community leaders, survivors, neighbors, faith-based organizations and community organizations. We are especially grateful to the families and survivors that joined us who have felt the pain of loss from gun violence.

We will continue to support community advocacy, resources and legislation for safer communities in the South end.

If you want to join us next time we have a community event and programming please email: [email protected] or sign up here.

–Brandy Grant  is the Program Manager at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.