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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 our Center plus updates on gun violence and prevention in Philadelphia from our partners at Billy Penn.

Credible Messengers take center stage
Gun violence survivor Semaj Obranty, who was shot in the head three years ago at age 10, responds to a question following a screening of “They Don’t Care About Us, Or Do They?”, a short documentary produced with support from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project, Tuesday night at Phila MOCA.
Seated at center is gun violence survivor Uhara “Free’ Russ, who also appears in the film. Standing from left are Credible Messenger Video Producer Brett Williams and Credible Messenger Community Journalist Oronde McClain, who was also shot in the head when he was 10 years old.
Credible Messenger Reporting Project Community Engagement Manager Maxayn Gooden, at right, conducted the interview. Brett and Maxayn are also surviving co-victims and Maxayn previously produced her own Credible Messenger documentary. Oronde recently joined our staff as the Center’s first Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison. We will have a full report on the event on our home page next week.
More than 150 people attended the event benefitting the Oronde McClain Foundation which provides accommodation for children who are receiving medical care due to gun violence and suffering from mental illness and PTSD.
Behind the scenes
Twenty-two years after being shot, Oronde McClain reflects on caring for Philly’s gun violence survivors
Weekly Brief from Billy Penn
By the numbers
Mapped: 1,049 nonfatal and 273 fatal shooting victims recorded in Philadelphia this year through July 19. Fatal shootings are indicated in red. [Philadelphia Office of the Controller]
Mapped: 1,049 nonfatal and 273 fatal shooting victims recorded in Philadelphia this year through July 19. Fatal shootings are indicated in red. [Philadelphia Office of the Controller]
62: People shot in Philadelphia during the seven-day period ending Sunday night, according to the weekly major crimes report published Monday by Philadelphia Police.
1,322: Total shooting victims recorded this year in Philadelphia as of Tuesday. At least 273 have died.
305: Year-to-date total homicides reported to Philadelphia Police through last night.
130: Year-to-date total homicides reported to Philadelphia Police through the same date in 2014.
Grim milestone
Action News on 6abc
#BREAKING Philadelphia reaches 300 homicides for the year so far; 18-year-old shot and killed
City briefing returns
Philly mayor says he hasn't visited families of violence victims. His office says otherwise
Burden on survivors
The toll of America's gun violence epidemic
New research
“The devastation homicide inflicts on Black teens and adults is an ongoing national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities.” - Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2019 Homicide Data []
Survey finds alarming trend toward political violence
DC-area colleges, universities come together to research ways to combat gun violence
Role of the media
Myths and Realities: Understanding Recent Trends in Violent Crime
Solution(s) of the Week
We Know How to Prevent Gun Violence. Now We Need to Scale It.
Community-Based Violence Interruption Programs Can Reduce Gun Violence
“The continued willingness to link mental health and gun violence creates an unsupported scapegoat that places the blame on an illness as opposed to the guns.” - Boston University School of Public Health and School of Law professor Michael Ulrich []
Here's what you can do, specifically
Student view: The gun violence emergency in America
Do you need help?
There’s a new, easy-to-remember hotline for mental health crises.

Call 9-8-8 to get connected to help.
In memoriam
Daniel Puskas, 19, contemplative free spirit who enjoyed nature, animals
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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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