For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Contact: Shannon Craig Straw, West End Strategy Team, 202-674-5921, scstraw@westendstrategy.com

Ten Communities Most Impacted by Violence Receive Grant from Google.Org through the PICO LIVE FREE Campaign

$2 million grant announced as a part of new national gun violence prevention campaign; aims to accelerate evidence-based prevention in communities heavily impacted by gun violence

LOS ANGELES – At the first national organizing summit for a new campaign to empower local gun violence prevention innovators across the country, the PICO LIVE FREE campaign announced that Google.org is providing them with a new $2 million grant to support local efforts to reduce homicides by firearms, decrease mass incarceration, and center communities of color in the fight to reduce gun violence in America.

The PICO LIVE FREE campaign is a national movement of faith-based organizations and congregations committed to addressing the causes of pervasive violence and crime in communities.

“Too often gun violence prevention efforts are bogged down by what happens in the halls of Congress rather than focusing on what’s happening on community streets,” said Pastor Michael McBride, director of the LIVE FREE campaign. “Congressional action is important, but there are proven, evidence-based strategies to dramatically reduce gun violence without waiting for Congress to act. We’re grateful that Google.org is taking the steps to invest in them. Our hope is that this grant enables people already doing the work in their communities to save more lives than they could before.”

The $2 million grant will enable advocates and organizers in ten communities to scale up and accelerate the implementation of evidence-based gun violence prevention strategies in cities with high incidents of gun related homicides and shootings. Communities supported by the grant include:

●      Chicago, Ill.

●      Milwaukee, Wis.

●      Miami Gardens, Fla.

●      Orlando, Fla.

●      Indianapolis, Ind.

●      Gary, Ind.

●      Oakland, Calif. 

●      New York City, N.Y.

●      Cincinnati, Ohio

●      Dallas, Texas

 

“Google.org is proud to support the PICO Network - LIVE FREE Campaign as part of our ongoing commitment to organizations and innovators working on racial justice.” said Justin Steele, principal at Google.org. “Their unique, evidence-based approach brings together important allies – clergy, organizers, law enforcement, and organizational leaders – who are able to interrupt cycles of violence by reaching individuals and groups at a local and personal level. We look forward to seeing their work bring about positive change in urban communities.”

The announcement of the grant was made as a part of the launch of the Peacemaker Partnership, a coalition led by LIVE FREE and the Community Justice Reform Coalition.

“If we’re serious about reducing gun violence, then we must address the root causes of violence and end the structural discrimination and the mass criminalization of people of color,” said Amber Goodwin, founder and executive director of the Community Justice Reform Coalition. “Violence is a symptom of a larger problem, which is why this partnership and the push to lift up communities of color, especially women, is so important. We are mobilizing all communities to be ‘peacemakers’ to reduce the number of gun-related shootings and homicides regardless of who pulls the trigger, decrease the number of individuals incarcerated and increase opportunity for those caught in these deadly cycles.”

The Peacemaker Partnership is made up of national, leading gun violence prevention and anti-racism organizations including:

PICO LIVE FREE Campaign

Community Justice Reform Coalition

Advance Peace

Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Americans for Responsible Solutions

Amnesty International

Athletes for Impact

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Chorus

Cities United

Civic Engagement Fund

The Daniel Initiative

End Rape on Campus

Everytown for Gun Safety

Guns Down 

Jobs R 4 U

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Live Free Chicago

Meridian Solutions

Million Hoodies for Justice

Moms Rising

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform

Operation LIPSTICK

Organizing for Action

PICO California

Revolve Impact

States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Voto Latino

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The LIVE FREE Campaign is a campaign of the PICO National Network, the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. We are committed to ending structural discrimination and the mass criminalization of people of color by mobilizing the faith community to reduce the number of gun-related shootings and homicides, decrease the number of individuals incarcerated and increase opportunity for those caught in these deadly cycles.

Community Justice Reform Coalition (CJRC) is a national advocacy coalition that promotes and invests in evidence-based policies and programs to prevent gun violence and uplift criminal justice reforms in urban communities of color.