A United Front Against Gun Violence

Last year, following a decade of progress in reducing violence, Chicago suffered more than 4,000 shootings and nearly 800 homicides, a level of violence unheard of since the 1990s. Many are stepping up to stop gun violence, and among the responses is the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a coalition of more than 30 Chicago funders and foundations committed to aligning their work to support proven and promising approaches to reducing gun violence.

Starting in 2016, informed by the longstanding work of many organizations to address root causes of gun violence, several foundations supported the operations of the Police Accountability Task Force and made direct investments in more than 100 neighborhood organizations in communities most affected by violence. Today, members of the Partnership, which has been facilitated by Civic Consulting Alliance staff, are working together to coordinate their individual investments in four key strategies:

  • Intervening with likely victims and perpetrators through street outreach, supportive services, constructive policing interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and jobs.
  • Increasing legitimacy for and effectiveness of the Chicago Police Department through improved training, better police-community relations, greater community voice in the design and operations of police accountability structures, and other reforms.
  • Strengthening gun laws to reduce the availability of illegal firearms.
  • Supporting 120 grassroots community-based organizations for events and projects in 2017 across 17 Chicago community areas to foster stronger community bonds, crowd out violence and promote constructive engagement with law enforcement.

"PSPC is one of many responses to the crisis in gun violence. By aligning grantmaking on a scale seldom accomplished, philanthropy is working to play its part to address a crisis that we all must respond to," says Gillian Darlow, CEO of the Polk Bros. Foundation.

PSPC is one of many responses to the crisis in gun violence. By aligning grantmaking on a scale seldom accomplished, philanthropy is working to play its part to address a crisis that we all must respond to.

Gillian Darlow


Chief Executive Officer, Polk Bros. Foundation