Youth-Led Approach to Confronting Gun Violence in Pennsylvania

The Challenge

Student and youth activism on gun violence has reached new levels nationwide in recent years; and yet, too often, their voices are not heard in policy conversations related to gun violence, especially in Pennsylvania. Annually, roughly 400 Pennsylvanians under the age of 20 are treated for firearm injuries, and homicide by firearm is the leading cause of death for young, non-Hispanic, Black males in Philadelphia.

The Project

Through this Emerging Leader Fellowship, Dijonée Talley worked with Health Promotion Council (HPC) and CeaseFirePA to strengthen the role of youth voices in gun violence prevention policy efforts in Pennsylvania.

Specifically, this Fellowship enabled Dijonée to:

  • Adapt HPC’s Advocacy Institute youth training program to focus on gun violence prevention and policy advocacy.
  • Implement the adapted Advocacy Institute training program on gun violence prevention with two cohorts of youth from Greater Philadelphia.
  • Engage in broader policy efforts related to gun violence prevention, with a specific focus on elevating the voices of young people in these conversations.
  • Establish and institutionalize a Youth Advisory Board that will advise CeaseFirePA.

Dijonée Talley, MS

Emerging Leader Fellow


Council of state Governments Justice Center

Current Position

Project Manager, Corrections & Reentry
City of New Haven


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Project Updates