Expanding our team and our services

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting is delighted to report that Oronde McClain has joined the staff as our first Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison, Shannon Hodges is joining us as a Podcast Producer this summer to promote the interviews conducted by our Community Engagement Manager Maxayn Gooden, and as we announced recently, Maria Mitri is joining us this summer, thanks to support from the Lenfest Next Generation Fund, and has been helping us organize our content and operations. Read More

Halfway point: Year-to-date shooting victim total is up, fatal shootings are down slightly during first six months of 2022 in Philadelphia

Open city data indicate that 1,163 people were shot in Philadelphia during the first six months of 2022, indicating a 7.5 percent increase when compared with the same period one year earlier. Read more.

Latest report from the Credible Messenger Reporting Project

Brandon Chastang, better know as B. McFly, interviews Suleiman Hassan of Soldiers for Recovery in this first video in a series he recently produced for our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. They discuss intersections between addiction, mental health, trauma and violence plus their views on solutions and some upcoming efforts. WHYY gun violence prevention reporter Sammy Caiola was the professional partner on this project and Chris Mansfield was the Credible Messenger video producer. Come back soon to catch the rest of this report.

Behind the Scenes with Kimberly Kamara

Maxayn Gooden, left, and Kimberly Kamara appear in the short documentaries each produced for the Credible Messenger Reporting Project last year.

In this extraordinary and intimate new conversation between two mothers who have each lost a son to gun violence, our community engagement manager Maxayn Gooden interviews Kimberly Kamara about her experience participating in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project.

Kimberly produced “Never Ending Emotions,” a short documentary featuring a series of interviews which address the emotional rollercoaster of life-changing events following the murder of a family member and discuss possible solutions to gun violence in Philadelphia. Maxayn was also a Credible Messenger community journalist in our first cohort last year.

New audio documentary from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project

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 Foundation, The Stoneleigh Foundation and Kouvenda Media. Listen now:

Behind the scenes: Dr. Jessica Beard

Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard was interviewed by Anthony Orozco at WITF about her role in “Stronger Every Day: Healing After Gun Violence.”

Deeper Dive: Dr. Jessica Beard

Now you can also listen to the full 30-minute conversation between Anthony Orozco at WITF and our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard about her role in “Stronger Every Day,” but also on what drives her, our current research, some preliminary findings and better news reporting practices.

This documentary was produced by gunshot survivor Oronde McClain while participating as a community reporter in the Credible Messenger Reporting Project at the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting. The professional reporting parter was Cherri Gregg and the video producer was Brett Williams. Above: Photograph of Semaj Obranty and Oronde McClain by Cherri Gregg. Both were shot in the head at age 10.

Watch and listen to three intimate and informative interviews with gunshot survivors — conducted by a gunshot survivor — and then read his deeply personal account of the journey from victim to storyteller: “They Don’t Care About Us” or Do They?

Behind the Scenes: Oronde McClain

Community Engagement Manager Maxayn Gooden speaks with gunshot survivor Oronde McClain about his recent journey as a community reporter participating in the Credible Messenger Reporting Project here at the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting. Listen and then watch Oronde’s new video documentary and read his story: “They Don’t Care About Us” or Do They?

Building our team

Maxayn Gooden, Community Engagement Manager

January 27, 2022

Maxayn Gooden is Community Engagement Manager for the Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Her work includes communicating with past, present and future community journalists, helping to meet their reporting needs, gathering community-produced content and helping to plan and execute improvements to the Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Read More

Project update

Thanks to new and continuing funding from the Independence Public Media Foundation, the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting is now accepting applications for a third cohort in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. This initiative empowers people impacted by gun violence in Philadelphia to report on root causes, lived experience and possible solutions from the community perspective. Credible Messengers are paired with advanced professional journalists to learn from each other and leverage their combined authority to produce and distribute news reports. Financial support is available for all participants. More info: Credible Messenger Reporting Project

Get to know the Center

Reporting on community gun violence presents exceptional challenges, responsibilities and opportunities. The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence wants to help.

Gun violence continued to increase during 2021 but we made good progress developing the Center and we expect to demonstrate more positive impact with each coming year. More info: Executive Summary

We are enhancing our efforts to change narratives and prevent community gun violence with new and expanded programming this year. More info: Impact Agenda

Research at the Center

Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard introduced new research from our collaborative in Washington on March 31 during the annual conference held by SAVIR, the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research.

The Center hosts an interdisciplinary research collaborative that is exploring the intersection of gun violence, impacted communities and the media. More info: Research at the Center

Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard is the corresponding author of a new study reporting that more women and children were shot, especially Black women and children, following the enactment of COVID-19 containment policies.

Study: Preventive Medicine | Press release: Temple Health


Better Gun Violence Reporting

What does the most ethical, impactful and empathetic reporting look like when covering community gun violence? Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard participated in this media panel addressing the role and responsibilities of the media. Click to play now, read about the event at Billy Penn and feel free to embed this video from YouTube.

The featured speakers and moderators for the conversation included:

Ernest Owens, President, Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (Moderator)
Denise Clay-Murray, Reporter/Editor, The Philadelphia Sun
Jessica Beard, Trauma Surgeon, Temple University Hospital and Director of Research, Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting
Tyrique Glasgow, Founder, Young Chances Foundation
Mazzie Casher, Director, PHILLY TRUCE, Inc. & Co-Creator, PHILLY TRUCE APP
Dr. Dorothy Johnson-Speight, Founder & National Executive Director, Mothers in Charge
Beatrice Forman, Digital Culture Journalist, Billy Penn (Digital Q&A Moderator)

READ MORE

We collaborate with journalists and news organizations to advance best practices and support the most ethical and impactful reporting on community gun violence. More info: Better Gun Violence Reporting

We organized the inaugural Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit in Philadelphia shortly before the pandemic.

Agenda | Audio | Experts | Hashtag | Notes | Photos | Press | Recap

Community conversations

In preparation for the Summit, we invited 15 Philadelphia journalists who play some role covering gun violence to spend a day with 30 residents from deeply impacted communities.

Looking for help?

If you or someone you know is suicidal, in crisis, or in need of general mental health support, please know help is available. You can contact your physician, local hospital emergency room, or any of the hotlines, text lines, web chats, and support groups listed below. Most are free and confidential resources. Many are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line: 741741
Lifeline Chat web chat service
Samaritans’ Helpline: (877) 870-4673 (available in 240+ languages)

Journalists: Take this online course on Responsible Reporting on Suicide. (You can audit for free or pay to get certified.)

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?

Have you been affected?

Up the Block is a free guide to tools, resources and people who can help those affected by gun violence.

In memoriam

We hope that data and information we provide may prove useful but we never forget that we are talking about real people. Learn about individuals lost to gun violence in Philadelphia and opportunities to remember someone you loved: In memoriam.

Need Help NOW?

The City of Philadelphia operates a 24-hour telephone hotline to assist people and their families dealing with behavioral health emergencies at (215) 685-6440. More info: healthymindsphilly.org

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Make a difference

Expanding our team and our services

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting is delighted to report that Oronde McClain has joined the staff as our first Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison, Shannon Hodges is joining us as a Podcast Producer this summer to promote the interviews conducted by our Community Engagement Manager Maxayn Gooden, and as we announced recently, Maria Mitri is joining us this summer, thanks to support from the Lenfest Next Generation Fund, and has been helping us organize our content and operations. Read More


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Organization

The Philadelphia Center Gun Violence Reporting is project of The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting. The Initiative is co-managed with fiscal sponsorship by CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia and is a member of CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia.

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Each Wednesday morning we share news, research, data, opinions and community responses related to gun violence and prevention in Philadelphia. You can subscribe for free.

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