While America’s cities reeled from the COVID-19 pandemic and were gripped by protests against racial injustice and police killings, yet another crisis struck our cities in 2020: gun violence. Although overall crime is trending down this year, shootings and homicides have spiked in cities throughout the summer, predominantly impacting people of color. In several American cities, the number of murders witnessed this year have already surpassed their 2019 levels, with months left to go.
Still, there is hope.
Across America, there are brave men and women who are risking their lives to “interrupt” violence before it begins, and invest in exactly the people most at risk of harm. There are gun violence prevention organizations who are bucking nationwide trends and reimagining public safety—often in partnership with law enforcement—to make sure our kids make it home each night. And there is a new generation of activists who refuse to accept that untimely death in their communities is a fact of life.