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How to Organize a Community-based Students Demand Action Group

2.18.2022

Welcome to Students Demand Action! Organizing in your community has many benefits. Students Demand Action’s community-wide groups often draw leaders and members from schools across an area, building a diverse membership that represents the larger community. Your community group can be the start of a community-wide movement – bringing in new voices to the Students Demand Action movement and creating networks across local schools and organizations. 

Let’s get Started!

What is Students Demand Action?

That’s a question you’ll get asked a lot while working to establish and grow your community group. One thing that will help in your transition is the Students Demand Action (“Students” or “SDA”) Information sheet. The following page is a succinct summary that shares topline gun violence statistics, why students are organizing in their schools and communities, what we advocate for in the gun violence prevention movement and how we do it. This information sheet can be printed and handed out at interest meetings, while tabling, given to the press, or shared with local stakeholders.

Registering Your Group with Students Demand Action

Students Demand Action is a national program with more than 400 local groups across the country and active volunteers in every state. Officially registering your local group with Students Demand Action will provide the leaders in your group access to materials, resources, and support from National Students Demand Action.

  1. Identify one leader to complete the Start a Group Application.
  2. All student leaders and group advisors must complete our Volunteer Agreement Form (volunteer leaders under 18 must also have their parents or guardians complete a Parental Consent Form).
  3. Within one week of paperwork submission, your group will be officially approved and will receive an email with additional information.

Students Demand Action Information Sheet

Students Demand Action is a national grassroots volunteer initiative, created by and for teens and young adults, a network within Everytown for Gun Safety, to channel the energy and passion of high school and college-aged students into the fight against gun violence.

Who We Are

Our generation has grown up in the midst of a gun violence crisis that worsened during  the COVID-19 pandemic. We should not have to fear for our lives at school, at sporting events, or at concerts. That’s why we’re rising up and organizing in our schools, universities and communities to fight this public health crisis. The first Students Demand Action chapter started in 2016, and in 2018 we launched nationally. Now, there are more than 400 Students Demand Action chapters across the country—and we’re still growing.

What We Do

Since its inception, Students Demand Action has advocated for gun safety legislation locally and nationwide as well as supporting and advocating for proven community intervention solutions to gun violence in our communities.

We focus on mitigating the causes and effects of all forms of gun violence that plague our country by organizing in schools and communities to educate students, register voters, and demand common-sense solutions to this national public health crisis.

We work to prevent gun violence because it is the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States. Every day, more than 110 people are shot and killed and over 200 more are wounded. The daily toll of gun violence in our country doesn’t always make headlines, but this violence affects everyone, everywhere.

Our Impact

Gun violence needs to be tackled at all levels of government—that’s why Students Demand Action volunteers work on gun violence prevention campaigns across the country by advocating for safer schools, homes, and cities.

Another important facet of our work is focusing on getting young voters registered. Gun violence prevention consistently ranks as a top issue for young voters, that’s why Students Demand Action registered 100,000 voters during the 2020 cycle, focusing our efforts on battleground states.

Through Students Demand Action, young people can create a safer future by sharing research and engaging in advocacy on the local and national level, including  testifying before local and national government bodies and contacting lawmakers urging them to enact gun safety legislation. This past year, Students Demand Action played a key role lobbying for gun sense legislation in several states, and we celebrated wins across the country for gun safety. As of summer 2021, more than 1.5 million students nationwide now attend schools with firearm storage awareness policies—thanks to the work of Students Demand Action and Moms Demand Action volunteers.

Students Demand Action provides young people with opportunities to get involved in the nationwide fight against gun violence alongside Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown’s grassroots network of volunteers. Our volunteers are at the forefront of the fight against gun violence: whether it’s lobbying state lawmakers, raising awareness in our communities, or organizing within our schools. As the country’s largest grassroots, youth-led gun violence prevention group, we are pushing our leaders to offer common-sense solutions instead of just thoughts and prayers. Together, as the next generation of leaders, we can work to put an end to gun violence.

Students Demand Action Resources

Once your group has been established, you have a huge range of resources at your fingertips. Here’s a breakdown of Students Demand Action resources. 

  • Students Demand Action Slack: Slack is a communication tool with different channels that cover different topics. The Students Demand Action Slack is the primary form of communication that groups use to communicate with one another and is the best place to get the most up to date information. For example, there is an announcement channel for sharing important news or information about upcoming campaigns.
  • Leadership Calls: Leadership calls are held the second Thursday of every month and are facilitated by National Students Demand Action Advisory Board members. On the calls, we share recent highlights and important news.  Leadership calls are a great way to hear about upcoming events, collect ideas from other groups, and learn about new materials and campaigns.  We even occasionally have special guests; past speakers include lawmakers and members of Everytown’s staff.
  • Gun Sense University online: GSUo is Students Demand Action’s online training platform where you can find toolkits and trainings to help guide you in your work. This is a great place to look for new ideas and materials to present at your meetings, or resources to plan your events and learn how to best utilize our tools. 
  • Recruitment for Events: Once your group is established, you’ll want to start organizing events (see more information below). After your event is submitted and approved, you can request a text bank, phone bank or email to contact people in your area. These tools allow us to message people in our network to invite them to your event. 
  • Budget: All Students Demand Action groups receive an annual  budget of $250. Groups have used their budget to print flyers, order food for their meetings, restock Students Demand Action merch, or buy materials for their events.
  • Welcome kit: Once your group is approved, you’ll receive a package in the mail with materials such as Students Demand Action t-shirts, placards, buttons, and stickers. These can be used to increase your group’s visibility in your community and recruit people while tabling.

Positioning within the Students Demand Action Universe

  • Other SDA Groups: As a group leader, you have the opportunity to form relationships with other SDA groups. You might meet other student leaders at National Leadership Calls, Gun Sense University, through your local Moms Demand Action group, or at events. Partnering with other groups can sharpen your leadership skills by exposing you to alternative ways of organizing and problem solving, and you can make great friends along the way.  
  • SDA National Advisory Board: The SDA National Advisory Board is a team of students from around the country who have been selected to advise the Everytown network on all things students! They run the National Leadership Calls, serve on committees, and are always working on projects behind the scenes. National Advisory Board members are good people to reach out to on Slack if you have any questions about national campaigns or need general advice from a fellow student.
  • National Calling Team and National Texting Team: These teams are groups of leaders who run regular calling or texting shifts to connect students with opportunities to advance our policy priorities. They do important voter registration work and are the first to mobilize when we need to take action on gun violence-related legislation.
  • Everytown Staff: Everytown staff members are here to support you! Each region of the country has a staff member who is responsible for organizing the groups in that area. Staff members can be reached via Slack or by email (students@everytown.org) for recruitment needs, connection to resources, or anything else related to the infrastructure of SDA.  

How to Recruit for Your New Group

One of the most important steps in getting started is recruitment. Community groups are able to recruit across various spaces – from schools to libraries to community centers – you have many options to find the best recruitment opportunities for your group.

Maximize your Resources

  1. Utilize Resources from Everytown: Once you fill out the Create an Event form which ensures the event is on Everytown Staff’s  radar, you are free to request Everytown’s outreach resources. These resources must be requested via the Google Form, ideally 10 days in advance of the time you’d like to begin outreach. This is a great way to reach people in your community who have already signed up online to join Students Demand Action or have previously shown interest in our movement.
    • EA8: EA8 is a resource that allows you to draft and send an email that includes a call to action or an RSVP link for an event. Emails allow you the freedom to personalize your message, so you can be as candid as you’d like in discussing your anticipation for your event.
    • Phonebank: The Students team will help you create a phonebanking script and organize a list of volunteers to contact. Depending on the length of the list and/or your phonebanking experience, other Students Demand leaders will be recruited to help phonebank with you.
    • Spoke: Textbanking is easier than ever via the online tool Spoke! Draft the initial text(s) to be sent, and the Students team will input it into Spoke. Similar to phonebanking, other leaders may be recruited to help you textbank.
  2. Online Systems through Schools: Many schools have recruitment tools available to registered student groups. Even though your community group is not registered with any specific high school or college, you can still do outreach at various schools in the area and see if they will help advertise your group! Some examples include:
    • Listserv: tool that helps you compile email lists to contact a large group of people at once.
    • Campus Calendar: central place that allows you to elevate your events to a large audience.
    • Newsletters/Blasts: submit your event to student government e-blasts or campus newsletters for free publicity that could reach entire student bodies.
    • Campus Newspaper: reach out to someone on the campus newspaper staff about writing a piece on your community’s newest group, or write your own!
  3. Social Media: Social media is a great way to remind your peers about what you’re up to while they’re scrolling through Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter. Follow these tips to make the most of these platforms:
    • Interact with other student or local groups and local organizations: Follow and share posts from other student and local organizations so that they’ll do the same for your group. Many groups focus on issues that intersect with gun violence prevention and have members who will also be interested in joining Students Demand Action. As a community group, you can connect with various groups across your community! 
    • Join Facebook groups: Facebook is huge in broader communities, and it’s where a lot of people go for information about getting involved in their local area. Join local community Facebook groups or Facebook groups for schools in your area that your members attend and advertise your group!
    • Host an Instagram Live: Reach out to a community partner organization and see if they will host an Instagram Live event with you! This can be a great way to reach the broader community and spread information about your group.
  4. Recruit through Classes: Academic spaces are all about collaboration and continuous learning. As a community group, you have the chance to recruit in a multitude of classrooms! We’ve found that professors are often open to students using classes as a place for recruitment for their student group, particularly if the class is closely related to areas in which Students Demand Action works. Here are two ways to use classes to your advantage: 
    • Present in front of the class: Ask a teacher or professor if you can make a short pitch for Students Demand Action to classmates. This could be done before class, immediately afterwards, or during mid-class breaks. Have flyers handy, mention upcoming events or membership meetings and tell everyone to text STUDENTS to 644-33. 
    • Use physical materials: Leave flyers, or our SDA Information Sheet with professors in relevant fields to distribute to their classes. Attend talks or panels on topics that cover or intersect with gun violence prevention and pass out information about your group’s next event before or after the discussion.  
  5. Partner with other clubs or community organizations: Most students are involved in more than one club, and they’re interested in a range of interrelated issues. Below are some ways to tap into the existing population  that can be found in other organizations:
    • Co-host events: Host an event with another club or a local community organization to get to know its members and their mission. Students that have heard about your Students Demand Action group may be more likely to attend a meeting or help with another event.
    • Form a coalition: Unite with other clubs or organizations in your area to find ways to collaborate and promote gun violence prevention. You can join them in promoting each other’s events in a calendar or an all-group newsletter to share each other’s events in one place. This is an actionable way to establish a cooperative relationship with the campus community, develop a consolidated resource for students with specific interests to find opportunities that appeal to them, and increase your group’s visibility.
  6. Table: Tabling is one of the most tried and true ways to recruit. Set up in outside areas that have high traffic such as central plazas, libraries, and college or high school campuses near you. You can also go to local community centers or events and set-up a table. Have your laptop ready for students to RSVP to your event or sign up for your email list, and hand out the bracelets, buttons or stickers that come in the welcome package to show your appreciation and get some free marketing at the same time. Have a short pitch prepared about what SDA is, and use the Find an Event tool to show interested people what kind of work real groups are doing around the country.
  7. Publicize on Community Boards: Many local coffee shops, libraries, or college campuses have physical boards where people are free to put up posters. Definitely ask for permission before doing so, but these boards can initiate outreach to an even wider audience. Be sure your poster features information such as your next meeting date, time, and location, or social media. Be careful in sharing your personal contact information.   
  8. Recruit with Moms Demand Action: Connect with your local Moms Demand Action chapter or liaison (yourstatename@momschapterleaders.org) and see if they are aware of local community partners to reach out to or community spaces to recruit in. You can even host a joint event with your local Moms Demand Action group and recruit local students to attend!

Things to Remember

  • Every community is different. Different communities have different cultures and platforms. If the resources and strategies provided in this toolkit aren’t useful for your specific group, reach out to other local community organizers or club leaders to find the best recruitment methods for your community.
  • Never stop networking. Your group is never done growing, so you should never stop recruiting.  Networking opportunities can happen at any moment, so always be prepared to share your message at an event, in a class, or even when you’re out in the community. New members can be found anywhere at any time!
  • Keep going. Recruitment can be hard. It can be intimidating to put yourself out there and approach people you don’t know. If you don’t see immediate results, don’t get discouraged — your brand new group is out there somewhere and you can always reach out to be connected to a student leader at another campus or community near you.
  • Have fun. Half the appeal of a community group is the opportunity it gives students across the community a chance to come together and take action. Make sure your group comes across as a welcoming, inclusive space for students to share their voice and make an impact on their community to end gun violence. Never forget that your group can make a difference and still have fun!

How to Find a Meeting Location

Community groups have the unique task of finding a public meeting location. This can seem like a challenge, but be confident that there will be spaces willing to allow student activists to confer. Importantly, though, be sure that you respect the space by leaving it as you found it (or better) and the time if you booked it in advance. Then, your best case scenario is having successfully found a location where your group can meet regularly. Here are location ideas to get your search starting:

  • Library Conference Rooms. Libraries oftentimes allow people to book meeting or study rooms in advance and at no cost.
  • Open Rooms in Places of Worship. Reach out to a local place of worship to determine if students can congregate in their space when no other activities or religious observation is ongoing.
  • City Halls/Board of Education Offices/Local Government Buildings. Especially if you have an established relationship with a member of local government or board, reach out regarding using an open space at that location. 
  • Community Centers. Many localities have recreation or community centers that are happy to discuss booking a meeting space for your events. 
  • College Campuses. Some colleges have free lecture halls or rooms where your group can look into booking.

Your First Meeting

Congratulations! You’re finally planning your first meeting; here are some tips to make sure it runs smoothly. 

Introductions: Given the size of your audience, it probably won’t be necessary to have every individual introduce themselves. Afterall, interest meetings are meant to be low-pressure environments where anyone can learn about your organization before they commit to joining. That being said, it might be helpful to ask volunteers why gun violence prevention is a cause that they care about. This is also a good place for you to share information about yourself including your pronouns, background, and what brought you to the movement. You can also include information on things like where else you’re involved in the community. Sometimes when looking to join a community group, students are also looking for mentorship. Maybe something you share is relatable to a potential member, making your group seem like a space in which they want to be involved. 

Presentation: Don’t spend too long before getting your meeting started. Students have busy schedules, so it’s important to show that you value their time. There are lots of topics you can talk about in your first meeting, here are some of the basics you should cover: 

  1. What is Students Demand Action: Use the “Students Demand Action 101” or the “Gun Violence Myths and Facts” presentations on GSUo to provide an overview of the gun violence crisis in our country. Allow time for students to ask questions, and make sure they leave with a solid understanding of what SDA is and what gun violence in the United States looks like.  
  2. The Leadership Structure: You’re stronger together! Delegation is an important way to keep your work sustainable. Share a brief description of the leadership roles, and ask if anyone is interested in joining the leadership team. 
  3. Upcoming events or potential partnership: Give your audience insight into what their involvement in SDA this year will look like. If you don’t have an event planned, don’t worry!  You can use the Find an Event Tool to share what kind of work other groups around the country are doing. Giving students real-life examples of what they could be doing as a part of your group makes it more likely that they’ll attend the next meeting.

Closing Remarks: There are a few important things to do to end your meeting on a high note and prepare the students in attendance to stay involved. 

  1. Let your attendees know when you will see them next: Make sure you set a time for either your first event or your next meeting. It’s important to re-engage your members sooner rather than later. At a future meeting, utilize a Doodle poll to schedule meetings when most students are able to attend. 
  2. Share your socials: Share your group’s Instagram or other social media so that new members can stay up to date on what your group is up to on a day-to-day basis. Students should also follow @studentsdemand on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for national content. 
  3. End on an action:  Students love to take action! Have them text STUDENTS to 644-33 to make sure they’re looped in whenever there’s an opportunity to call their lawmaker or sign a petition. Check out studentsdemand.org or the Students Demand Instagram for current campaigns with quick actions that students can take to close out a meeting.

Building Your Students Demand Action Leadership Team

Starting a group from scratch may seem daunting, but it’s easier if you find ways to delegate. Establishing your leadership team is a good way to get your group up and running. You may find that you want to have an executive board before you seek approval, or you might want to make leadership opportunities available at your first meeting. There’s no right formula, so explore whatever is best for your community. 

Students Demand Action uses a distributed leadership model of organizing which allows for groups to have as many students as they wish to serve as Leaders in the group. We believe that increasing our numbers of Student Leaders working together on gun violence prevention directly strengthens our movement by capitalizing on each student’s individual talents. We also refrain from assigning hierarchy to leadership roles, such as president or vice president, eliminating the need for elections and competition. Students Demand Action is committed to creating a collaborative, non-competitive environment, where everyone’s voices and experiences are valued.

As part of your leadership role we provide resources, trainings and expect everyone to learn and develop the following skill set: 

  • Understanding how stereotypes, bias, and forms of racism in America (including structural racism, implicit bias, gender bias, religious bias, ageism, and bias based on gender identity or sexual orientation) impact our society and an ability to articulate the connection between these large societal issues and the disproportionate impact of gun violence on specific demographic groups in America.
  • Understanding how dynamics of power, voice, and privilege impact one-on-one and group interactions, and a commitment to using power, voice, and privilege to make our movement more equitable. 
  • A commitment to share direct feedback with others and listen to and implement feedback given.
  • Commitment to building diverse teams and learning management skills for equity and inclusion.
  • Ability to help other people in our movement develop this same skill set and knowledge base. As with all other organizing skills the expectation is that over time leaders would also develop the ability to train other volunteers in these areas.

Onboarding New Leaders

When growing your leadership team, it’s important to have student leaders register as official leaders with Students Demand Action by completing the Volunteer Agreement Form. Once new student leaders complete the form, they’ll gain access to National Students Demand Action Slack, GSUo, National Leadership Calls, and more. Having all of your group leaders plugged into these resources ensures that your group will have the most up to date information on campaigns and materials at all times, and allows the Students Demand Action team to get to know your group and help support your work. 

Students Demand Action Leadership Roles

The Group Leader or Co-Leaders

Are you good at managing a lot of moving parts? The group lead is instrumental in ensuring the growth of the group, and the role is flexible. The Group Lead will manage tasks as they come and guide the other student leads and members to empower them to be strong advocates. The Group Lead identifies group goals and delegates work to the appropriate leaders.  

  • Connect leaders with upcoming trainings and development opportunities
  • Identify and recruit diverse leaders
  • Coordinate with your local Moms Demand Action Chapter and Students Demand Action Liaison within that Chapter
  • Set the agenda and facilitate meetings 
  • Collaborate with other leads to plan out goals/action items
  • Distribute work to other leads/group members and following up on those asks

Communications Lead

Do you believe in the power of journalism to spread our message? The Communications Lead works to raise your group’s profile in the media to tell the world why we do the work we do – and show them that we’re winning.

  • Empower leaders to access media trainings to elevate their stories as they see fit, particularly those who have been disproportionately impacted by gun violence
  • Represent the group at public events and media interviews 
  • Coordinate with Everytown’s communications team to identify events to advise to the media 
  • Form relationships with and maintain a list of local media outlets
  • Support legislative work by coordinating Letters to the Editor and Op-eds

Resource Lead

Are you looking to learn the resources that support the movement? The Resource lead will help with event sign-in, support the group’s efforts to publicize events and activities using the tools Everytown provides; the lead will empower others to learn how data is key to building the gun violence prevention movement in your community and across the nation.

  • Manage the Host An Event Form and attendee check-in forms
  • Work with Events Lead to request recruitment tools (peer to peer texts, emails, phone banks) 
  • Develop a working knowledge of platforms such as GSUo, VAN, etc. 

Advocacy Lead

Are you passionate about pulling the levers of power to create change?  Work with Everytown, the Students Demand Action team,  and your local Moms Demand Action group to identify opportunities to support ongoing campaign priorities. 

  • Follow local, school, state, and federal activity
  • Update the group on local, state, and national legislative work
  • Identify opportunities for students to engage in campaigns
  • Participate in and recruit students for advocacy days. 
  • Work on state and federal campaigns in coordination with your local  Moms Demand Action Chapter

Treasurer

Are you comfortable with leveraging money as a powerful tool in social justice movements? Consider serving as your group’sTreasurer, where you’ll use Everytown’s resources to manage the group’s budget, track expenses, spearhead fundraising, and build your group’s power. 

  • Submit and manage budget requests and expenses
  • Track spending and fundraising in budget tracker
  • Manage school granted budget, if applicable
  • Provide your group regular updates on the status of your budget
  • Promote use of online fundraising tools to help raise funds for your group
  • Help coordinate fundraising events

Social Lead

Do you have a creative side? Do you enjoy utilizing social media for social justice and activism? Consider being a Social Lead where you can use social media as a tool to recruit new members, promote events, educate your following, and grow your power!  

  • Create content for social media, like graphic design posters, Instagram Stories, Tweets, or TikToks 
  • Work with Advocacy Lead to bring attention to local, statewide, and federal legislation and share calls to action
  • Promote events, draw in new members, and elevate voices and stories in the group 
  • Share social media best practices with other student leaders
  • Amplify the educational posts and calls to action from @studentsdemand and @everytown social media accounts

Events Lead

Do you enjoy bringing people together to advocate for social justice? Do you want to bring our action ideas to life and make them happen? Events – big and small – are key for activists to get to work, and the Events Lead makes them happen.

  • Plan, track, and oversee all group events. 
  • Coordinate with your Everytown regional organizer to secure meeting venues. 
  • Make sure all group events are posted on the Students Demand Action Events Page using the Create an Event Form. 
  • Track attendance at events
  • Work with Resource Lead, Membership Lead and Treasurer to recruit for events and ensure the event is within budget parameters

Membership Lead

Are you an outgoing social butterfly? Do you bring people together? The Membership Lead oversees recruitment by promoting Students Demand Action and inviting new individuals to attend meetings. Once individuals express interest, it’s the Membership Lead’s job to tell them about upcoming meetings and events, ensure that they receive future communications from the group, and have them text STUDENTS to 644-33 to get nationwide Students Demand Action updates. The Membership  Lead must promptly respond to inquiries and should be eager to promote the organization. 

  • Work with the Events Lead to organize tabling events to recruit new members
  • Identify places in your [school or] community where you can share the mission and attract new members
  • Manage attendee check-in forms and member outreach
  • Track attendance at events and meetings

Community Outreach Lead

Are you well-connected in your community? Do you greatly value the intersection between gun violence prevention and other activist movements? The Community Outreach Lead will work to connect their local Students Demand Action group with local businesses, activist groups, and school clubs. They will form collaborative, working relationships to strengthen the outreach base of Students Demand Action’s work to activists and volunteers connected with a variety of aligned  social justice issues. This role is particularly critical for community groups – as they help to expand your group’s community network!

  • Identify local partners to co-host or support events 
  • Perform outreach and lead communication with clubs and activist groups in the area
  • Works collaboratively with other Students Demand Action groups in the area and state
  • Facilitate good relationships with community members and organizations

*** All leaders are eligible to receive media training and support as part of their leadership role.

Sample Month Calendar

Here is an example of what a month might look like for your Students Demand Action group. Keep in mind, every group is different and students’ availability varies throughout the year. 

Group Event Examples

Monthly group events are great ways to keep your group engaged, recruit new members and take tangible action. 

  • Join a Students Demand Action National Calling Shift 
  • Partner with a community organization to support their needs 
  • Attend your state’s Advocacy Day
  • Host a panel or guest speaker 
  • Attend a national Students Demand Action event 
  • Host a Voter Registration Drive
  • Attend a Moms Demand Action event in your area
  • Here is our Hands On Activity guide with other events you can do with your group! 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Your local community has all kinds of students from a variety of different backgrounds. Despite this opportunity, we often find ourselves interacting with people who are similar to ourselves. In order for our movement to win, we must do more than what is most comfortable when recruiting for and organizing our groups. For an organization to be approachable, it must be a safe space for people of all identities. Creating safe spaces begins with the intentional choices that we make every day.

Choice points are opportunities for equity and inclusion. Even small shifts in our practices and policies can lead to significant impacts and creating a consistent practice of seizing opportunities to shift the status quo can help level the playing field for marginalized people. Inventorying our choice points begins with noticing where there may be an unconscious pattern in what we do. Consider these examples:

FrequencySample Choice Points
Daily– Whose emails and calls I return, and how quickly?
Weekly– Which team members can I make time to check in with and for how long?
– Which team members do I give thoughtful, frequent and/or candid feedback to?
– Which projects do I prioritize versus leave to the backburner?
Monthly– Which team members do I make time to see in action, to coach?
– Which projects get most of my attention?
– In decision-making: Who is the process serving? Who benefits? What groups are missing from the conversation?
Annually– What items in my budget are dedicated to equity work?
– Are our work outcomes different for people of color?
– What groups of people/communities are benefitting more than others because of our work?

Our Core Values

A statement of core values makes it clear how we expect volunteers in our organization to operate. This should be shared during on-boarding of new leaders and can be referred back to at any time.

We believe inMeaningWhich leads us to do things like…
DiversityDiversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, personal experience with gun violence, socio-economic status, gun ownership, military service, political affiliation, geography, abilities, religion, faith, and other ideologies. We embrace and embody diversity in all its forms. We believe in order to be successful in our work to prevent gun violence, we need a movement that reflects all parts of society.– Set goals to intentionally foster relationships, partnerships, and mutual trust and support with diverse communities, community based organizations, faith institutions, and other like-minded organizations.
– Be open to new and different perspectives and ways of doing this work.
– Show up, listen and provide support to communities highly impacted by
gun violence.
– Engage a diverse team of volunteer leaders.
EquityEquity is providing individuals and groups with the appropriate resources and support for their particular situation that will allow them to experience similar opportunities and outcomes as other groups. Equity is distinct from equality—giving everyone the exact same level of support or resources regardless of their situation. We are committed to the fair treatment of all people to include access, opportunity and advancement into and within our leadership structure.– Identify barriers within our chapters and eliminate those barriers so that all current and future volunteers – across the diversity spectrum – can participate in our efforts.
– Work to overcome accessibility obstacles in leadership development, by offering scholarships to GSU, by recording trainings on GSUo, and by overcoming technology barriers.
– Support full access to GSU by ensuring access to and awareness of resources.
– Offer a variety of opportunities to enter into the work of the organization.
InclusionInclusion is putting the practice of diversity into action by creating welcoming environments where everyone feels respected, supported, and valued, and ensuring that diverse perspectives are represented at all levels of our leadership team.– Participate and encourage others to participate in trainings and resources focused on implicit bias, tools to interrupt it, and other tactics for inclusion.
– Place individuals from a variety of backgrounds and identities into leadership roles.
– Ensure all events include survivor voices and are mindful of survivors  in attendance.
– Amplify the voices of marginalized communities, and elevate communities most impacted by gun violence through our events, activities, media and social media opportunities.
RespectWe value the leaders, volunteers and staff in our organization, and are committed to working together professionally to better advance the mission of our work.– Approach this work with professionalism and courtesy to everyone participating.
Assume good intentions on the\ part of others.
– Bring forward solutions when raising issues.
– Being open minded to unique and different ways of approaching this work.
LeadershipWe value the unique skills and talents of individuals who step into leadership roles to develop and guide our movement.– Recognize the potential leadership in all volunteers.
– Prioritize training, through GSU, GSUo and in state retreats, to support our grassroots leaders.
– Be intentional in recruitment of leaders with explicit goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
– Provide ongoing peer-to-peer mentorship for leaders across the country.
ImpactWe are relentless in working in the most strategic, efficient and effective manner to bring about change to prevent gun violence, creating impacts at the local,
state and national level.
– Set priorities and SMARTIE goals for our work through the chapter planning process.
– Track local, state and national events, actions, volunteer involvement and reengagement to meet our goals.
– Utilize Everytown’s data, research, and professional expertise to ground our strategies to prevent gun violence.
– Say no to activities that do not align with our priorities.
SustainabilityWe are committed to the fact that this work will take many years to directly reduce gun deaths, injuries, and the impact of gun violence in America, which means our movement must be built to grow in a sustainable manner.– Develop management skills, with the support of Everytown, in order to effectively manage teams and delegate work.
– Work strategically and set priorities so our work is manageable and has the most impact for the time and energy invested.
– Practice self-care to create balance between volunteerism and work and family responsibilities AND to process potential secondary trauma or retraumatization that can occur in this work.
– Hold each other and our teams accountable for practicing self-care.
Flexibility & AdaptabilityWe deeply value flexibility, understanding the rapidly changing nature of this work, and the ability to adapt to such changes.– Value creative solutions to challenges.
– Consider ideas from a variety of sources and perspectives.
– Seek constructive ways to adapt to changing circumstances and unexpected events.
Culture
of Feedback
We commit to receiving and sharing constructive feedback in a kind and supportive way so that our leaders can be as effective as possible and our organization can continue to learn in our work to end gun violence.– Debrief and solicit feedback for each campaign that we run.
– Seek out and be open to feedback about our work.
– Trust that others also want to hear feedback in order to learn and improve our effectiveness.

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