Grassroots Organizations

Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence

The Coalition will provide information and technical assistance to the diverse congregation members. Each congregation adapts work to their own community but maintain the overall goal of ending deaths and injuries due to firearms.

Colorado Ceasefire

Motivated by the failure of the Colorado General Assembly to pass sufficient gun violence prevention follows after the Columbine tragedy, individuals came together to create a PAC determined to remove the legislators who had opposed the legislation form office. Empowered by six election successes, Colorado Ceasefire felt its political influence solidify and this reinforced its determination for longevity of the organization and change in the legislature. It channels its energy into three tasks: lobbying the Assembly to produce and protect gun violence laws, education programming on gun violence prevention, and an electioneering PAC to assess and endorse favorable candidates.

Everytown for Gun Safety

Frustrated by stagnation of gun violence prevention legislation due to the efforts of the gun lobby, the group magnifies the voices of moms, mayors, and survivors by haressing the power of both Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Tactically, it focuses on legislative action and support for survivors to make communities safer.

First Unitarian Society of Denver Gun Violence Prevention

The nonpartisan and interfaith group aims to spark interest in gun violence prevention through education on violence and effective prevention mechanisms. They organize motivated volunteers to engage legislators and show support for prevention regulations. They also network with other faith organizations that work to reduce gun violence.

#MarchforOurLives: The Parkland Movement

A nascent movement born from the devastating attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, its leaders are high school students motivating the crowd from the heart of the people. Carefully selecting only donations without strings attached, they have maintained the power of the movement for the people and their values. This unique and growing movement created and promoted March for Our Lives Events and Clubs through their social media usage.

Gonzales, E. (Mar 24, 2018). March for Our Lives. March for Our Lives Rally Washington, DC. Retrieved from CNN

Moms Demand Action

Started by stay-at-home mother of five, Shannon Watts after Sandy Hook, the grassroots organization has quickly expanded into a national organization with local chapters all working to tackle the endemic of gun violence. Fueled by legislative successes across the country, the group continues to build on its momentum to educate, motivate, and activate it members. Specialized campaigns for moms, educators, and kids disseminate relevant information to spread awareness and instigate change.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. (Nov 3, 2015). Moms Demand Action 101. Moms Demand Action: About Us. Video retrieved from 

States United to Prevent Gun Violence

A network of 32 state affiliates working in aggregate to decrease gun violence and by promoting strong gun violence prevention laws from gun storage to background checks to keeping guns out of public spaces. Education efforts are also a focus of the group to raise prevention awareness and grow the conversation on political and community action.

The Brady Campaign

The Brady Campaign uses a public health approach to accomplish its goal of halving gun deaths in America by 2025. The disseminate information in order to spur people to change laws, the gun industry, and the gun culture in America. Headquartered in DC, chapters have sprouted up across the nation that work to effect change on a local and national level.

Gross, D. (The Brady Campaign Presidents). (2016). Why gun violence can’t be our new normal. TedTalks. Video retrieved from

The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

The Educational Fund engages impacted communities to create a strong voting base to advocate for gun violence prevention policies through holding workshops and creating an action network of communities. By running public education campaigns Its sister organization, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, is the 501(c)(4) lobbying wing of the organization, organizes campaigns that compel media and legislators to appropriately cover gun violence and create effective policy.

The Rebel’s Project

Founded by survivors of Columbine in the wake of the Aurora shooting and determined to make the best out of the worst: it creates a network and space for survivors to connect for counsel, support, and education after such traumatic experiences. It works with schools, counselors, and sheriff officers to provide insight into how to best strategize against and address gun violence. Compiling resources and personal stories, it educates the public on events of mass violence and PTSD.


There is a diverse range of organization involved, with religious, political, and community groups all creating different grassroots organizations. Many have been started in the wake of school gun violence in their own communities–an effort to make the best out of the worse and try to prevent any more tragedies from occurring. Survivors, mothers, classmates, and family members of those impacted came together to education and organize their communities to make schools safer.

It is interesting to note that the majority of these groups serve white communities. This may be because school shootings have occurred in white communities, but it also reveals whose platforms are promoted. Gun violence occurs at a higher rate in urban communities, yet those grassroots organizations do not receive the same media attention or resources to create change.

The educational and political programming of these organizations has been particularly visible with the rise of the use of social media and the increased media attention. For example, the Parkland organizers captured the attention of millions through twitter and other social media platforms.

Guns are a highly contentious and complex issue, intersecting with mental health problems, gun legislation, and myriad other political challenges. Though the causes of school shootings are contested, most of the above organizations see common-sense gun laws and increased mental health services as effective solutions. The National Rifle Association, one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying groups, is the main adversary of these grassroots groups. Its influence and wealth make it a difficult organization to compete against. Yet, these groups continue to fight for their beliefs and for their communities.