Gun violence

Joint Center Report: Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence

Today, the Joint Center, the Urban Institute, and the Joyce Foundation released our report Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities.
The conversation around gun violence in the United States is often focused on mass shootings, but too often ignores its devastating effects on communities of color. African-Americans account for over 56% of the victims of gun homicide, for example, and gun violence is the second leading cause of death for Latino males ages 15-34.

Despite this impact, scholars and policymakers rarely listen to communities of color in understanding the factors driving gun violence and developing actionable policy strategies.
Over the last year, we convened more than 100 community members in three diverse American cities—Richmond, Virginia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Stockton, California. The convenings included faith leaders, law enforcement, social service providers, formerly incarcerated individuals, elected officials, and other community members. Our Engaging Communities report provides the findings and recommendations from this group, which include:

  • Prevent the diversion of firearms to people at high risk of gun violence through common-sense procedures such as universal background checks.
  • Repair police-community relations with tools to hold police accountable, such as body-worn cameras and collection of racial data on police stops.
  • Invest in job training and placement, trauma care, drug treatment, and other social services that address challenges faced by many individuals at high risk of gun violence and their families.
  • Improve collaboration and strategic planning between community stakeholders, such as religious leaders, nonprofit social service providers, and law enforcement.

Click here to read the full 67-page report.

We also commissioned a national survey of 600 African Americans and 600 Latinos, which showed that an overwhelming majority of people of color support these recommendations. Click here to view the survey.

The following commentaries by Joint Center President Spencer Overton and Senior Fellow Kami Chavis review findings from the report: The American Prospect and The Nation.
For coverage of the report see, The Rootthe Milwaukee-Wisconsin JournalSentinel, The GuardianMadison 365Voice of AmericaWisconsin Public Radio,, and The Trace.
To view footage from the press conference click here.