As we get ready to wear orange on June 7 to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day, we wanted to share an update on our own commitment to help end the gun violence epidemic in America.
On an average day, 100 Americans are killed by guns and hundreds more are wounded. Our nation’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average rate of other high-income countries. It’s an issue that affects us all – and we all have to be part of the solution.
As an iconic global company, we know that what we say and do matters. And we believe it’s imperative that companies take a stand on the issues that are really impacting our communities – as our CEO Chip Bergh recently said, “If we stand on the sidelines, we’re not really fulfilling our responsibility to the world.”
That’s why in September 2018 Levi Strauss & Co. stepped up its support for gun violence prevention efforts. Inspired by the young people and local activists who are taking action to address America’s gun violence epidemic, we outlined the following areas of support:
- Establishing the Safer Tomorrow Fund:We created this fund to direct more than $1 million in philanthropic grants from LS&Co. over the next four years to fuel the work of nonprofits and youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America. These efforts have resulted in endeavors such as the “Since Parkland” project from nonprofit news organization The Trace, and voter engagement efforts by young activists like Nurah Abdulhaqq.
- Inspiring the business community to act: We are partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety and executives from the business community to form a coalition of business leaders who believe that business has a critical role to play and a moral obligation to do something about gun violence in this country.
- Advocating for gun safety: We have been a vocal advocate on the issue over the last several years. In 2016, we made the request of consumers not to bring in guns into our stores, and in January 2019 Chip joined other CEOs in support of H.R. 8 to require background checks on all gun sales.
As we have said since the beginning, we are not opponents of responsible gun ownership, and we are not advocating for a repeal of the Second Amendment or a country free of guns. We simply believe we all deserve to live in a country free of gun violence, and we are unequivocally committed to doing our part to make that happen.
Hear more from Chip and other leading advocates on the issue of gun violence prevention in this latest video from Everytown: