Gun violence is an epidemic in America. The statistics are staggering, and the numbers are only getting higher. It is a problem that has plagued this country for decades, but it disproportionately affects black women.
The statistics show that black women are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by gun violence than white women and are more likely to be the victims of fatal shootings. One study found that 1 in 5 black women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, a rate higher than white women. Further, Black women die from “gun-related domestic partner abuse at disproportionately higher rates than any other group.”
Gun violence disproportionately affects black women, not just because they are more likely to be killed by guns. Black women are also more likely to experience trauma from gun violence, which leads them to seek out education and nonprofit organizations to help them find solutions. Unfortunately, black women face societal barriers that overlook their education, lived experience, and wisdom.
Black women are chronically underrepresented as nonprofit leaders, and Black women-led organizations receive significantly fewer donations than those led by White men and women and Black men. Further, Black women are paid 36% less than White men and 20% less than White women. Further complicating the issues, 64% of Black and 61% of Latinx adults feel their voices are ignored when offering solutions to the gun violence epidemic.
Despite the overwhelming barriers and statistics, Black women have an indisputable role in eradicating gun violence in communities across the country. Sustain Equity Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Virginia, is on a mission to provide trauma-informed leadership training to Black women active in violence prevention and social justice nationwide. The Urban Training, Research, Advocacy, Institute, and Network (U-TRAIN) empowers and equips Black women to use their lived experiences, education, and expertise, to provide evidence-based violence-prevention solutions at the federal, state, and local levels.
Over the next five years, Sustain Equity Group aims to train and empower 60 Black women. Each cohort of women will identify and mentor their successors to create a robust, nationwide network of Black women leaders creating change and reducing gun violence.
Additionally, Sustain Equity Group manages the National Black Violence Prevention Advisory Council, a network of Black scholars, experts, and practitioners who support each U-TRAIN cohort’s work with evidence-based research and recommendations. A critical component is supporting ongoing research, training, and data analysis to provide greater learning about Black women's experiences and trauma with gun violence, community violence, and family violence, including the systemic racism they experience daily.
Black women are often overlooked and undervalued in society. However, they have a fundamental role in solving the gun violence and inequality epidemics. Sustain Equity Group is leading the effort to empower and educate Black women to create lasting change in their communities.
Be part of the solution by supporting Sustain Equity Group and the U-TRAIN program.