Statement from Social Current CEO Jody Levison-Johnson on Gun Violence in America
In a statement from Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of Social Current, a network of more than 1,800 social sector organizations, she commented on the recent shootings in communities across our nation:
“Tulsa. Uvalde. Laguna Woods. Buffalo. These senseless tragedies have robbed our nation of too many precious lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 100 people die in the U.S. every day from gun violence. There have been 27 school shootings just this year and 20 mass shootings since Uvalde. What is clear is that gun violence in America is an urgent public health issue across our nation and we must do more to address the underlying conditions that lead to these tragedies. In short, we must do better.
As a network of more than 1,800 social sector organizations, our mission is to advocate for and implement equitable solutions to society’s toughest challenges through collaboration, innovation, policy, and practice excellence. We believe that community-based organizations, supported by public policy and adequate funding, have the tools to help reduce incidents of gun violence. While it is up to our nation’s leaders to pass common sense gun laws that can reduce the accessibility of weapons of war, there are also community-based and federal public policy initiatives that we believe can reduce the epidemic of gun violence in our nation and prevent future tragedies. These include:
- Development of community-based violence intervention efforts that can reduce the cycle of community gun violence, address the underlying causes of gun violence, and promote health equity.
- Expansion of positive youth development programs, and other prevention models supported by evidence.
- Increased federal funding for research on gun violence.
- Advance trauma-informed and brain science-aligned principles in policy, including the RISE from Trauma Act.
- Expansion of place-based initiatives that use holistic approaches to community impact/development to create safe and vibrant neighborhoods and make employment opportunities, affordable housing, and other basic needs a reality across the nation.
- Address the youth mental health crisis by advocating for prevention programs; supporting the Mental Health Services for Students Act of 2020; and providing more funding to school and community-based mental health programs that build awareness of trauma, train appropriate staff to identify and screen for behavioral health challenges, and incorporate positive behavioral health interventions, family engagement, and treatment.
Reducing gun violence and the horror of mass shootings will require a robust public health response that emphasizes proactive, preventative strategies that build community resilience and well-being. We have the tools at hand to strengthen communities and reduce these senseless deaths. We call on Congress and our nation’s leaders to meet this moment with the political will to change the status quo and pass common sense policies that reduce the epidemic of gun violence and support the ability of every individual, family, and community to thrive.”
View this compilation of resources for tools and guides related to talking to children about shootings, providing psychological first aid, coping with grief, and more.