In Solidarity with Victims of Gun Violence and Racially Motivated Acts of Violence

The mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, killing ten Black Americans, took place on May 14, 2022. The following day, one person was killed and five others were wounded when a man walked into a church and tried to kill congregants based on their ethnicity. Ten days later, at least 21 children and teachers were killed in an elementary school in Texas. The burden of repeated acts of gun violence on communities across America has left many reeling. The Marin Community Foundation stands in solidarity with the families and communities who have lost loved ones to acts of gun violence.

The data on gun violence and racially motivated gun violence in America are alarming.

Gun Violence

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, annual domestic gun production increased from 3.9 million in 2000 to 11.3 million in 2020. As the number of guns surpasses the number of people in the country, Americans are experiencing more mass shootings where four or more people are killed per incident. In fact, the number of mass shootings has steadily increased each year since 2017, climaxing at 611 in 2020. Based on the Gun Violence Archive, America has experienced 213 mass shootings this year alone (as of May 2022). The toll of violence has disproportionately affected communities of color, and its effect on children has been growing; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the rate of gun deaths of children 14 and younger rose by roughly 250% from late 2019 to late 2020 (data for 2021 is not available yet).

Racially Motivated Gun Violence

While it is challenging to track violent crimes against specific races, the F.B.I. has reported that 64.9% of the 8,052 hate crime incidents in 2020 were based on race, ethnicity, or ancestry bias. Further, of the racially motivated acts of violence, more than half of the victims were Black Americans. The data also show that the number of offenses targeting Black people, and people of Asian and Jewish descent, rose 6% since 2019–not only highlighting the rise of violence in the county, but also the rise of White Supremacy rhetoric that has left communities of color historically disinvested.

Marin Community Foundation is committed to ending hateful actions, fostering safe spaces of acceptance, and supporting the rehabilitation of communities affected by violence and hate in Marin County and beyond. We are calling upon you to join us and collectively provide the resources needed to curb the devastation experienced by victims of gun violence in Buffalo and nationwide.

Please see below for a list of national organizations that are supporting affected communities in Buffalo, NY, as well as a list of gun violence prevention organizations that MCF has vetted. If you would like to identify approaches to combat gun violence and/or racially motivated acts of violence in specific communities across the nation, please contact your MCF Philanthropic Advisor directly.

In parting, please take a moment of silence to honor the lives lost to gun violence over the past 10 days in Buffalo, Laguna, Uvalde and beyond.

Buffalo, NY

Open Buffalo Inc.

Open Buffalo’s mission is to create systemic changes leading to an “open” city for residents of Buffalo, N.Y., through the measures of equality, justice, and freedom. Open Buffalo provides leadership development, media and policy strategy and coordination, direct support, and assistance to social and economic justice organizations and campaigns, facilitates action-oriented community research, and raises the profile of and mobilizes funding for this important work.

Rooted in Love, Inc.

A community-based nonprofit, Rooted in Love focuses on assisting the unhoused and less fortunate members of the Western New York Community. It provides fresh produce, nonperishable foods and hygiene products to those who are simply in need.

VOICE Buffalo Inc.

Working to overcome the history of abuses in the criminal justice process, VOICE Buffalo ensures that law enforcement, adjudication, and criminal corrections are equitable for all. Its current campaigns focus on bail reform and the implementation of a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program in Erie County. The organization is partnering with the Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition to create Peace Hubs and promote Restorative Practices.

Voices of Black Mothers United

This program is bringing Black mothers who have lost children together with community partners. It allows them to have a platform where their voices can be heard, to heal and strengthen their communities, and create an environment of hope and opportunity. Its mission is to assist individuals and organizations in the areas of family advocacy, community intervention, and promoting positive policing (PPP). By working with families, businesses, faith leaders, and law enforcement, the program works to end violence in local communities. *Voices of Black Mothers United is a project of the Woodson Center. Grants should be made to the Woodson Center with the purpose to support Black Mothers United.


San Antonio Area Foundation

As a peer in the sector, the San Antonio Area Foundation services as a trusted and impactful philanthropic partner in the San Antonio, Texas region. In the aftermath of the mass school shooting on Uvalde, the San Antonio Area Foundation launched the Uvalde Strong Survivors Fund to provide direct financial assistance to the survivors of the deceased and those directly affected by the tragedy. One hundred percent (100%) of the contributions donated to this fund will go directly to victims and survivors of this atrocity in partnership with National Compassion Fund. Similarly, they also launched the Uvalde Strong Fund which will serve as an emergency relief fund to support area nonprofits that will provide long-term assistance, including mental health services, in the Uvalde community.

Texas Gun Sense

Launched in 2007 as Students for Gun-Free Schools in Texas, a non-profit organization founded by survivors of the Virginia Tech shooting, the organization evolved into Texas Gun Sense in 2013 when they expanded membership. Texas Gun Sense is now a nonprofit focused more broadly on public safety. They support gun ownership as an individual right for law-abiding citizens; they also support universal background checks, with a goal of keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals and people experiencing a mental health crisis that may be a risk to themselves or others. Ultimately, Texas Gun Sense advocates for common sense, evidence-based policies to reduce gun injuries and deaths.

National Gun Violence Prevention

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

A national, 501(c)(3) organization, its work focuses on: reforming bad apple gun dealers, supporting the legal fight for justice, and promoting public health and safety campaigns, including Asking Saves Kids and Its sister organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, is a 501(c)(4) organization and donations to it are not tax deductible. Its focus is lobbying government to adopt stronger, more comprehensive gun safety/gun violence prevention laws.

Community Justice Reform Coalition (CJRC)

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. The organization’s approach is rooted in the belief that to truly free ourselves from trauma, we must reimagine and redefine what safety and security mean for those at the margins of society, and that we can fill the leadership gap within mainstream advocacy by centering communities of color, and change the face of gun violence prevention. CJRC’s Community Justice Speakers Bureau is an intergenerational leadership program that helps both millennial and seasoned organizers build a network of support to advocate for gun safety. Communities of color and people impacted personally by gun violence are at the table for all solutions and are supported as leaders in the movement. *CJRC and their affiliate Community Justice Action Fund are a collective action fund of Tides Foundation, a tax-deductible entity.

March for Our Lives Foundation

Founded by survivors and students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida with a mission to harness the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives. The organization is centered around national student-led chapters to promote the “Peace Plan” which includes essentials steps to address the nation’s gun violence epidemic, including policy reforms, advocacy, and voter education.

Everytown for Gun Safety

A movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Its Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a core program of the organization. Its Mayors Against Illegal Guns (started by former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg) is a national coalition of more than 1,000 mayors united in their belief that we can respect the Second Amendment by doing much more to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. The organization is legally separated into two organizations: The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization and donations to it are not tax deductible. The Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations to it are tax deductible. Everytown has 2 million members across the US.

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

This national organization based in San Francisco merged with Americans for Responsible Solutions, an organization led by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly. The Law Center was founded in 1993 after the mass shooting at 101 California Street downtown San Francisco. Among core activities including national outreach and public education, community-based violence prevention strategies, legal research, and pro-bono representation, the Law Center creates and disseminates gun regulations that serve as model laws across the US. The Law Center’s mission: providing comprehensive legal expertise in support of gun violence prevention and the promotion of smart gun laws that save lives.

Sandy Hook Promise

Founded by parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the organization’s approach is to build a national movement of parents, schools, and community organizations engaged in and empowered to deliver gun violence prevention programs and mobilize for the passage of sensible state and national policy. The group’s Say Something program trains students, parents, and educators to recognize warning signs of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others by using firearms, and shows them how to contact help, including via an app-based anonymous reporting system. The Start with Hello program teaches students how to identify social rejection and marginalization in their peers and to reach out and create connectedness.

The UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP)

A multi-disciplinary program of research and policy development focused on the causes, consequences, and prevention of violence. VPRP focuses on firearm violence, and on the connections between violence, substance abuse, and mental illness. It helped develop the public health approach to violence in the 1980s. Its mission is to develop and disseminate the research evidence on which informed policy and practice are based. Its approach to research and prevention is hemispheric, focusing on areas that face the highest burden from violence. VPRP’s director is Garen Wintemute, M.D., M.P.H., an emergency physician and one of the nation’s leading firearm violence researchers and policy experts. VPRP’s associate director is Magdalena Cerdá, Dr.P.H., an internationally known social epidemiologist with special expertise in violence and substance abuse. Gifts to the Violence Prevention Research Program will be directed to UC Davis Health, which is recognized as a tax exempt entity.

Violence Policy Center

Works to stop gun death and injury through research, education, advocacy, and collaboration. The organization informs the public about the impact of gun violence on people’s daily lives, exposes the profit-driven marketing and lobbying activities of the firearms industry and gun lobby, offers unique technical expertise to policymakers, organizations and advocates on the federal, state and local levels, and works for policy changes that save lives.

LOCAL: Marin County

The City of San Rafael-Marin Gun Buy Back Program (deadline Tuesday, May 31, 2022)

In partnership with the City of San Rafael, the District Attorney’s Office in Marin County, Brady United and MCF, is hosting a gun Buy-Back Program to make Marin County a safer place. The City has hosted a gun buy-back program every six years. This year, it will be hosted on June 4, 2022 from 9 AM to 1 PM at the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, where working firearms and ammunition can be turned in for cash, no questions asked. The City of San Rafael, in partnership with all of the towns in Marin County, are fundraising to ensure they can maximize program success. *If you are interested in donating, please contact your MCF Philanthropic Advisor as soon as possible.

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