Sandy Hook Promise today announced the launch of Parent Together, a national grassroots campaign to educate and empower parents to prevent gun violence in their communities. Emphasizing mental wellness, connection to community and gun safety, the campaign will bring parents together around their common love for all children to help prevent not just the next Sandy Hook tragedy, but also thousands of other acts of gun violence every year.
The campaign launches November 14, 2013, one month before the one-year mark of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, in an effort to ensure that Sandy Hook is remembered as a place where real and lasting transformation began.
"Since its founding last December, Sandy Hook Promise has been seeking ways to bring Americans together to help prevent gun violence," said Nicole Hockley, the mother of six-year-old Dylan, who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. "Last year at this time, I was that mom who was deeply saddened by the violence I saw on the news, but I didn't think I could do anything to change it. But then it struck home and I knew that to honor Dylan's life, I had to get involved to prevent other parents from experiencing this grief. Through Parent Together, we will build on our common ground as parents and our love for our children to create a national community empowered to make our children safer."
Sandy Hook Promise will begin to roll out proven tools and programs for parents to implement in their communities that focus on mental wellness, community connectedness and gun safety. These tools and programs will be used by parents to help prevent gun violence within their homes, their schools, their communities and ultimately, our nation. Other national advocacy campaigns such as efforts to reduce drunk driving, promote recycling and reduce smoking created change across the nation by starting at a community level—Parent Together will do the same.
"When you talk about preventing gun violence, you can't just talk about guns," said Mark Barden, whose seven-year-old son Daniel was killed at Sandy Hook. "Parent Together stresses the importance of our children's mental wellness and the need to strengthen our communities. My little Daniel understood the values of connectedness – to family, friends and community; if we all practice those values, we will create a safer world."
Parent Together was developed in conversations with parents across the country—gun owners and non-gun owners, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, people of many faiths and from across the economic spectrum. These conversations led to an unsurprising finding: that a parents love and concern for their children comes before everything, including their politics.
"We are stronger when we, as parents, stand together for change," said David Wheeler, the father of six-year-old Benjamin, who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. "Through the Parent Together campaign, we are resetting the conversation by reminding parents that their love for their children can overcome political paralysis. We are choosing to move away from inaction and anger, and to embrace this love to empower parents to act now in their communities."
Sandy Hook Promise will launch several digital assets, including a promotional video featuring celebrity parents from television making the case for uniting on the common ground of parenthood for the safety of our children. To view and share the video, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org/psa.