This is no time to celebrate. Gun violence is raging in Philadelphia and many American cities with no end in sight.
But today marks one year since launching the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, we owe you an update and we are pleased to report that progress is good in terms of hitting our strategic goals, especially while working our way through the pandemic and related challenges.
We have organized eight teams in the first cohort of the Credible Messenger Reporting Project, which pairs people with lived experience together with advanced professional journalists to report on the root causes of gun violence, daily realities and possible solutions from the community perspective.
We recently shared the first production, reported on the team behind it and published a project update. We have been pursuing further support to continue this work and will soon announce preliminary plans to expand to more cities.
We recently announced that trauma surgeon and public health researcher Dr. Jessica Beard will soon join the Center as our director of research in her new role as a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow but we have already been collaborating, planning and gathering data in partnership with other researchers since the beginning of the year.
Dr. Beard recently represented the Center at a groundbreaking journalism summit, testified before Philadelphia City Council and has been a primary partner for several years, from co-authoring the opinion piece that kicked off this initiative to curating, moderating and making her own presentation during the closing session of our Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit, shortly before the pandemic.
Our service to journalists has been largely informal during this first year but we have engaged someone in nearly every Philadelphia newsroom as well as many beyond our city.
Our home page menu is packed with resources for those reporting on gun violence prevention, including links to authoritative data and our own Philadelphia Shooting Victims dashboard.
Our efforts have been the subject of media attention many times but more importantly, we now find our resources informing other news coverage more often.
Right now, our summer staffers are hard at work expanding our network, including new channels for communications and engagement, developing an expert directory for those reporting on gun violence prevention and building the foundation for new advisory boards. Stay tuned.
We have produced and distributed nearly 50 weekly Philadelphia Weekly Gun Violence and Prevention Reports, which are also excerpted in the Billy Penn newsletter each week.
Headings that appear frequently include Accountability, Community Voices, Data, Events, Grants, Incidents, Opinion, Petitions, Research and Remembrance. Most posts also include a Solution of the Week feature focusing on prevention efforts that have shown promising results. The latest edition went live this morning.
Please visit our home page and check out all the partners and supporters who have helped make this work possible during our first year. Each has helped by advising, distributing or funding our work, if not directly building or maintaining resources together.
Please just click the Contact button on our home page whenever you ideas about how we might be effective together.
We do this work to honor those lost to gun violence by advancing prevention the best way we know how. Please take a moment to remember.