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Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia

Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia
Each week we share news from the Center plus updates on gun violence and prevention in Philadelphia from our partners at Billy Penn. Please note: This newsletter will arrive on Thursday mornings beginning next week.

New audio documentary
Above: Tashawn Strother and Walter Willis. Photograph by Dan Colavito.
Above: Tashawn Strother and Walter Willis. Photograph by Dan Colavito.
• New today: Tashawn Strother, a community journalist from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project, hosts an audio documentary sharing her family’s journey after her son Walter Willis was shot and critically wounded on New Year’s Eve in 2019. Voices include our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard, who is also the trauma surgeon who cared for Walter – and Walter himself. Thanks also go to the Independence Public Media FoundationThe Stoneleigh Foundation and Kouvenda Media, where you can listen now:
Behind the Scenes with Oronde McClain
• Our Community Engagement Manager Maxayn Gooden speaks with gunshot survivor Oronde McClain about his recent journey as a community reporter participating in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. [SoundCloud/PCGVR]
In the news
• The CBS Evening News checked in with our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard on last weekend’s violence. PCGVR founder Jim MacMillan discussed our work on The Healthcare Policy Podcast. [@PCGVR/Healthcare Policy Podcast]
From the Center
Response to Philadelphia mass shooting
The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting
Do journalists reporting on gun violence in Philadelphia want self-care info, trauma education, safety training, a virtual network, live gatherings, all of the above or something else? We're getting some signals but could use more. Reply, DM or email:
Weekly Brief from Billy Penn
  • Loved ones held a vigil for 22-year-old Kristopher Minners and 24-year-old Alexis Quinn, innocent bystanders killed on South Street Saturday night. [Fox29/6ABC]
  • City leaders at the U.S. Conference of Mayors last week made a bipartisan plea for more measures to control the flow of guns, like stronger background checks. [NYT$]
  • Outgoing Sen. Toomey has been one of the few Republicans to support efforts to tighten federal gun laws. He says a deal is closer now than after the Sandy Hook shooting. [Inquirer$]
  • Mayor Kenney and Commissioner Outlaw toured the area of South Street where last weekend’s mass shooting occurred. Kenney said police are working on better ways of handling crowds, and mentioned they can’t “stop and frisk” people with concealed weapons. [6ABC/WHYY]
By the numbers in Philadelphia
  • 51: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 61 the week prior — but this will likely be updated, as Open Data Philly has last week’s count at 78. [PPD Google Drive/@PCGVR]
  • 226: Shooting victims in May, vs. 188 in April and 193 in May 2021. [@PCGVR]
  • 990: Shooting victims this year, up 9% from last year [PCGVR]
  • 220: Year-to-date homicides, down 4% from last year; up 56% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]
Violence and interruption
• A news report says one Philadelphia teen shot last weekend was also shot one week earlier. You can join a community conversation on interrupting cycles of violence Saturday in North Philadelphia. [6ABC/YMCA]
Stop the Bleed
• Community activist Rosalind Pichardo is now passing out tourniquets. You can learn about bleeding control online. [6ABC/YouTube]
Month in review
• An estimated 77,792 guns were sold last month in Pennsylvania. Fifty-five people were murdered in Philadelphia during May. [@PCGVR/Philadelphia Obituary Project]
City responds
• The City of Philadelphia posted a new resource list for reducing gun violence and will hold their next bi-weekly gun violence briefing today at 1 p.m. []
Program expanding
Scott Charles
#HIRING: Temple Health is expanding its Victim Advocates program to better support violently-injured patients and is looking for a qualified Workforce Development Specialist to join its team of hospital responders. Click the following link for more info:
Solutions of the Week
Group Violence Intervention program offers Philadelphia shooters a way out
Can universal background checks curb gun violence? Here’s what the research says.
What would it mean to treat guns the way we treat cars?
Did you enjoy this issue?
The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

Better gun violence reporting could enhance public understanding and support for effective programs and policies to prevent shootings and hopefully save lives. But what does the most ethical, impactful and empathetic reporting look like?

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting was launched to explore the hypotheses that changing the practice of news reporting can prevent gun violence. Since then, our research has refined this focus by identifying harmful reporting practices, asking what best practices would look like and how they could be implemented. Now, we have organized our work into three closely-aligned programs:


Our community reporting project trains, compensates and empowers people impacted by gun violence in Philadelphia to produce and distribute news reports on its root causes, their lived experience and possible solutions from the community perspective, with guidance from professional journalists.


Our interdisciplinary research collaborative is exploring the intersection of gun violence, impacted communities and the media. Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica H. Beard is a trauma surgeon who cares for gunshot patients at Temple University Hospital and researches public health at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Her work is supported by a three-year Stoneleigh Foundation Fellowship.


Our professional development program strives to help journalists covering gun violence find a more diverse selection of experts, the most reliable data, evidence-based solutions, inspiring past reporting, strategies for community engagement, professional networking opportunities and additional resources. Representatives from every major Philadelphia news organization have participated.


We strive to model ourselves after other organizations that have dramatically advanced the practice of journalism. Within five years, we hope to support a small staff with a long runway for continuing operations and a strategic plan for sustainability.

Until then, we plan to continue supporting voices from the community, publishing research that informs best practices and building networks of journalists who believe we can all do better, make a difference and stop the violence.

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