United Ways of New Jersey Statement on Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

We join those across the state and country mourning the 19 innocent children and 2 teachers who were murdered yesterday in Uvalde, Texas. We as the collective United Ways of New Jersey are also calling for action on gun violence as a public health issue.

Since January 1, 2022, there have been 17, 202 deaths by gun violence across the United States. According to the Gun Violence Archive, of those, 649 were under the age of 18. 104 were children under the age of 11. In New Jersey, in 2022, there have been 3 recorded mass shootings. Gun violence in New Jersey has taken 86 lives this year. The senseless, violent and preventable killing of children, adults, LGBTQ+, People of Color, Jewish residents and Asian Americans must be a call to action that gun violence has become a national public health issue.

United Ways across New Jersey are focused on the education, financial stability and health of every person, in every community we serve. Our work connects communities to financial, social and human resources to address issues that affect the social determinants of health. We would be remiss if we did not step up to call on our elected officials to address gun violence as a public health issue. Elected officials have the ability to address reforms through the power of legislation.

Gun Violence is preventable and not inevitable. Using common sense approaches to tackle this issue would take into account risk factors associated with gun violence. These include but are not limited to mental and emotional health, access to guns and ammunition.

We can change the course of this senseless and preventable tragedy that keeps repeating itself over and over in communities across our country if we are willing to come together, #LIVE UNITED and address this urgent public health issue.


Catherine P. Wilson

President and CEO

United Way of Greater Newark


Dan Altilio                                       United Way of Hudson County

Tom Toronto                                  Bergen County United Way

Yvonne Zuidema                            United Way of Passaic County

Kiran Gaudioso                              United Way of Northern NJ

James Horne                                  United Way of Greater Union County

Gloria Aftanski                               United Way of Central Jersey

Sandra Toussaint-Burgher           United Way of Greater Mercer County

Bonnie Duncan                              United Way of Hunterdon County

Lori Ann McLane                           United Way of Monmouth & Ocean Counties

Michael Gower                              United Way of Gloucester County

Michelle Taylor                              United Way of Delaware

Bill Golderer                                   United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey