We had a special guest at our January 28 meeting, Rev. Rachel Lonberg, who serves as the Faith Sector representative on the Foundation for Excellence (FFE) board. Rev. Rachel asked the task force for our input on ways that the FFE can support our work and other aspirational projects throughout the city in 2021. She shared with us the goals of the FFE as well as some of their past accomplishments. Members of the task force discussed our community’s priorities and ways that the FFE could potentially support them in the coming year. Some of those priorities included; domestic violence/trauma work, strengthening mentorship programs, violence in schools, different ways to address trauma/violence, healing circles, providing structure for young people, gun buyback programs/amnesty programs, prison re-entry programs, supporting community centers, amongst other things.
In the coming months the task force will invite folks who are directly impacted, policy makers, GVI, students, judges, and advocates to join us for “power one-on-ones.” [Editor’s note: GVI is Group Violence Intervention, the community-led approach that ISAAC introduced to the Kalamazoo Dept of Public Safety and the community, and has championed ever since we brought Dr. David Kennedy here as our speaker.]
Task force meetings will be held each month on the 4th Tuesday from 6:30-8pm. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday February 25 at St. Luke’s. New members are always welcomed. Please join us!
February 16 Service of Remembrance – The 6th Annual Service of Remembrance for Victims of Gun Violence will be held on February 16 at 4:00pm, at Galilee Baptist Church. Please be there to remember the lives taken, especially in Kalamazoo, and to pray for peace and call on our representatives to enact reform. Everyone who has a loved one who died as a result of a firearm is invited to bring a photo and be a part of the remembrance. [Service of Remembrance Poster—the entire poster in last month’s newsletter]
February 25 Advocacy Day – The Michigan Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is organizing members, allies, and supporters to visit our State Representatives in Lansing to ask for common sense gun laws. Advocacy Day will be held on February 25. Please RSVP at https://act.everytown.org/events/moms-demand-action-event/30759/signup/ Carpooling is available–please email Rick Omilian at [email protected] for more information and to sign up!
Special thank you to Wendy Flora for taking excellent notes at our meeting!
We hope to see some returning and new faces in February!
– Tami Rey & Rick Omilian, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Co-Chairs