D.A. Bragg To Honor Gun Violence Awareness Month With Youth Violence Prevention Grants, Gun Buyback Event, Art of Healing Festival & More

June 1, 2023

Events Throughout June to Reduce Gun Violence, Save Lives and Bring Communities Together
Targeted enforcement and increased community partnerships helping drive shootings in Manhattan down approximately 18% 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr., today announced a series of community-based events and initiatives for Gun Violence Awareness Month, which begins June 1, 2023. Every year in June, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office seeks to raise awareness about gun violence, support gun violence survivors, fund prevention efforts and services, and facilitate community dialogue.
These initiatives are part of the Office’s comprehensive efforts to combat gun violence, which has helped lead to a significant reduction in shootings and homicides under D.A. Bragg’s administration. As of May 28th, homicides were down by 20% and shootings decreased 18% in Manhattan year-to-date. After D.A. Bragg’s first year in Office, the borough saw a 15% decrease in homicides and 20% decrease in shootings, compared to 2021. In addition to community-based initiatives and proactive solutions, the number of gun prosecutions brought by the Office has increased 19% since 2021. 
“As we enter Gun Violence Awareness Month, we are reminded of the toll that firearms continue to take in our communities,” said District Attorney Bragg. “There are far too many people grieving due to gun violence, and we have an urgent responsibility to use every tool at our disposal to get guns off our streets. That includes direct investments in neighborhoods, collaboration with community partners and coordination with other members of law enforcement. I am pleased that this comprehensive approach has begun to lead to a steady reduction in homicides and shootings in Manhattan, but we have a lot more work to do, and I look forward to taking part in these events with my fellow New Yorkers.”
On June 2nd, the Office will acknowledge Gun Violence Awareness Day by wearing orange and standing together for a staff photo.
The D.A.’s Office will host a gun buyback on June 10th at Memorial Baptist Church on West 115th Street in partnership with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), elected officials, community leaders and partners. Anyone can turn a gun in, no questions asked, and receive up to $600. Additional information can be found here.
In partnership with New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the NYPD, the Office will also host a Saturday Night Lights (SNL) Showcase at Basketball City at 299 South Street on June 10th. Created in 2021, SNL is funded by the Office and serves as a youth development and violence prevention program. At this month’s showcase participants will have the opportunity to showcase their sports skills and raise awareness about the impact of gun violence.
The Office will then host its second annual conversation with faith leaders on June 16th to hear how gun violence, violent crime and other community issues are impacting Manhattan neighborhoods; discuss solutions and share resources; and discuss avenues for collaboration with other partners.
The Office will host an Art of Healing Festival on June 17th at P.S. 7 on East 120th Street in partnership with the Thrive Collective and other community organizations, The festival will honor victims of gun violence and explore creative arts as a means to heal. Additional information can be found here.
Manhattan public school students are invited to enter our Office’s Youth Against Violence poster contest, which provides an opportunity for youth to use their artistic skills to express how gun violence is impacting their communities. Additional information can be found here.
Finally, the Office will also announce new legislation to combat gun violence with elected officials later in June.
Gun Violence Prevention Grants
In April, the Office announced funding for up to 10 Manhattan community-based organizations to work to prevent gun violence for the second year in a row. The Office plans to announce new recipients within the next few weeks. Selected organizations will receive $20,000 each from the Office for initiatives to prevent youth gun violence by paying New Yorkers stipends to either participate in meaningful programming or beautify public spaces that are known areas for gun violence.
The Manhattan D.A.’s Office is providing these awards through its Criminal Justice Initiative (“CJII”), which was created using millions seized in the Office’s investigations against major banks.