Gun Violence Awareness Day is a day we wish did not exist. But since it must, given the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in the United States – including the recent killings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, the equally horrifying events at the Tops market in Buffalo, and the 14 additional mass shootings that took place in just the ten days between the two – we want to use the day to bring light to the staggering facts about the toll gun violence has on Americans every day, mobilize action and declare once again that our elected leaders must set aside politics and work to pass gun violence prevention measures to make our communities safer.
This is a national issue, affecting our schools, places of worship, shopping centers, theaters and offices across states. This is a local issue, impacting neighborhoods and communities in ways that are felt long after any single incident. And this is a business issue, as we’ve asserted numerous times before, which spurred us to work since 2018 to catalyze action from the business community. Despite the steady drumbeat of heartbreaking news, we cannot and will not let despair take hold. We remain committed to making our voices heard and to support the effective methodologies of activists and practitioners who are fighting to make our communities safer every single day.
On this Gun Violence Awareness Day, we want to highlight the efforts of some of our nonprofit partners who are working on the front lines of this issue and telling the stories that need to be told. And we want to share how we are empowering employees and our communities to get involved and stay engaged well beyond June 3.
Supporting Nonprofits through our Safer Tomorrow Fund
Since 2019, LS&Co. has provided more than $1.5 million to organizations working to address gun violence in the U.S. Nonprofits like the Community Justice Action Fund and Giffords Courage to Fight Gun Violence are addressing gun violence through advocacy and community violence intervention methodologies in Black and Brown communities disproportionately impacted. Leaders like Luis Hernandez of Youth Over Guns pioneered a program called “Anger to Advocacy” that trains Black and Brown youth aged 12 – 24 across the country to be effective changemakers. Or media productions like The Trace and Lemonada’s Last Day (Season 3) podcast that are maintaining and strengthening broad interest in and coverage of the issue of gun violence, centering the conversation around the everyday violence that happens across the U.S.
Amplifying Voices on our LS&Co. Brand Channels
This Friday, Levi’s®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.TM, Denizen® and Beyond Yoga® will be sharing facts about gun violence and what people can do to stay engaged on the issue. Participating nonprofit partners are LIVE FREE and the Black Brown Peace Consortium, Community Justice Action Fund, Sandy Hook Promise, and Mom’s Demand Action. Make sure to follow @levis, @dockers, @signaturejeans, @denizen and @beyondyoga to learn more on Friday, June 3.
Empowering Employees to March
Every voice counts. That’s why we are supporting employees across the U.S. to join March for Our Lives marches on June 11. For every hour employees spend volunteering alongside gun violence prevention nonprofits, they are eligible to apply for a grant to support that organization.
All of these efforts preceded Gun Violence Awareness Day and will continue onward long after this day passes. We’ll stay at it as long as it takes – calling on elected officials, business leaders and citizens alike to join us – because our country and our communities cannot afford anything less.