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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.

News from our Center
Behind the Scenes: Ernest Owens
• Please check out the refreshed About, Partner and Team pages on our menu. During the past three years, the Center has supported a diverse network of 64 people and soon we will add profile sections for all of our community journalists, consultants, contractors, advisors and other people partnering with us. []
The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting
Yesterday, @Orondemcclain1 screened the documentary he produced with support from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project at the The Hill at Whitemarsh, a retirement community in Lafayette Hill, Pa. You can watch it here:
Weekly Brief from Billy Penn
By the numbers in Philadelphia
  • 29: Shooting victims recorded last week so far, vs. 68 the week prior. [@PCGVR via City Controller]
  • 1,355: Shooting victims this year, up 1.3% from last year [PCGVR]
  • 309: Year-to-date homicides, down 2% from last year; up 64% vs. five years ago [Philly Police]
Health of the City
New report: The homicide mortality rate in Philadelphia increased dramatically during 2020. Homicides were over 20 times higher in African Americans than non-Hispanic Whites and 4 times higher than the rate among Hispanics. [Philadelphia Department of Health]
“City Hall and police officials have no answers to the gun violence. Even worse, there is a shameful acceptance of a public health crisis that is cutting down young lives, traumatizing neighborhoods, and extracting an economic toll on the city that one estimate put at a half billion dollars.” - The Philadelphia Inquirer
Playstreet shutdowns
Kensington residents are calling for more safe spaces where kids can play
Feeling the heat?
• Some Philadelphia neighborhoods can be 3.8 – 7.8 degrees hotter than the average city temperature. Densely developed urban areas experience a heat island effect but green space and vegetation may play a protective role against urban violence. [ Institutes of Health]
Beginning August 8
Law Enforcement in the Emergency Department
Role of the media
Gun Violence Solutions: Get Help and Get Involved
Resources for Editors and Reporters Covering Gun Violence
Solution(s) of the Week
Philadelphia gun violence: Camp teaches young people ways to be part of the solution
Inside The Academy Working To Train D.C.’s Violence Intervention Workforce
Mothers in Charge
Kenyatta Johnson
It was my pleasure to present @PHLCouncil citations to the graduates of the 2022 @phillymic Women Working For A Change reentry program.
• Slide show: The latest cohort from the Women Working for Change reentry program at Mothers in Charge were recognized with City Council citations yesterday during the graduation ceremony at the organization’s headquarters in Spring Garden. []
In memorian
Shaquille Barbour, 18, enterprising optimist with a radiant smile
• This newsletter has been produced thanks to funding awarded through the Directors Grant Program of the Barra Foundation.
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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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