Seattle Foundation Blog

Taking Thoughtful Action After Tragic Mass Shootings

In the aftermath of recent mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy, we must come together to create a stronger, safer community for all

August 08, 2019

In the aftermath of recent mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy, we must come together to create a stronger, safer community for all. People lost their lives, families are grieving, and these communities were changed forever. 

We must also grapple with and acknowledge that these are not distant, isolated instances. Rather, they are increasingly frequent, direct attacks on people’s right to exist, and send a clear message that some people’s lives are considered to have less value. At a time when we should be, as john powell, Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley has said, “expanding the circle of human concern,” events like these make us feel like that circle is becoming smaller. 

In Dayton, the shooter killed his own sister. In El Paso, a couple lost their lives while shielding their two-month-old baby from shots fired by a man with ties to white nationalists who espouse hatred of immigrants. In Gilroy, authorities have arrested a suspect who wrote online that his goal was to kill 500 people. Violence and hate are threatening the very fabric that connects us all, eroding the belief we all want to have in our country and in one another. 

Many of us are asking ourselves, “What will we do?” Our community partners and philanthropists often look to SeaFdn for guidance and support when these incidents occur. Below are some suggestions for where you can send your support, including the community foundations on the ground in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy; a list of local organizations working to address gun violence; and SeaFdn’s Resilience Fund. SeaFdn philanthropists can make recommendations from their Community Philanthropy Funds or Family, Personal or Corporate Foundations.  Our team of philanthropic advisors is available to provide any needed support. 

You are vital to the circle of concern in our community.  When we come together united against toxic rhetoric and hateful acts, we can bridge all races, all ethnicities, all identities and all ages. Now is the time for philanthropy to lift our voices and live our values.  


Community Foundations

Community foundations work in partnership with local nonprofits and philanthropists to effectively meet short- and long-term needs across a range of issues and interests. The community foundations in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy have each established funds for the victims of last week’s shootings.


The Resilience Fund

SeaFdn’s Resilience Fund provides grants to address urgent needs arising from shifts in federal policies, funding or the national political climate. It supports nonprofits addressing unanticipated and emerging challenges that impact marginalized populations in our region. Learn more about the Resilience Fund and how to donate.


Organizations Addressing Gun Violence in Washington State 

We are highlighting local and state organizations working to address gun violence and can provide additional insights on these nonprofits or direct you to national organizations doing related work.

  • Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation works to end gun violence in our state, focusing on policies and programs that contribute to gun responsibility in communities across Washington.
  • Grandmothers Against Gun Violence works collaboratively with other groups to reduce gun violence in Washington state. As a grassroots organization of grandmothers, it focuses on making the world safer for children and advocating for gun sense and responsibility.
  • Washington CeaseFire promotes gun safety legislation and awareness of the dangers of guns in the home. It also advocates for safe gun storage and child-proof smart gun technology.
  • Washington State Firearm Tragedy Prevention Network was developed by Seattle Children’s Hospital to provide a forum for organizations, individuals and businesses from a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds to work together to prevent firearm tragedies. It is committed to the safety of kids, families and communities. 








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