Working to end gun violence through advocacy, divestment, and investment

“You are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

These words, passed down through generations of Jewish fathers and mothers, are a call to action and a rejection of apathy, even when the task at hand seems overwhelming.  Each person is compelled to act as if his or her actions determine the destiny of the entire world.  

I feel passionately that to reach its personal potential, the human spirit needs the freedom to explore and experience without fear of criticism, violence or injustice.

This idea resonates deeply within me and informs my personal call to action, which is threefold: advocacy; divestment; and investment.

To add my voice of advocacy, I joined the IL Gun Violence Prevention Coalition to lobby for legislative action for sensible measures to reduce violence.  I encourage others to vote our values, hold elected officials responsible and speak out against the causes of both mass shootings and every day violence that has devastated families and communities.  

The next step in my commitment to reduce violence was deciding to invest according to my values. I divested from gun manufacturing companies and invested in I Grow’s vision for a playground, transforming my investment in guns into an investment in children.  I’m inspired by Nathan Shapell, a Holocaust survivor, who wrote, “Now, as then, the face of an innocent child is my guiding light of hope for the world, the reason to survive, to achieve and to work for the future.”

It’s gratifying to contribute to rebuilding community and restore the ability of its residents to live with dignity and purpose. The I Grow model, partnering with the Englewood community, motivates me to move from advocacy to action.