LANSING, Mich., June 25, 2021 —  This week, state Rep. Kara Hope (D-Holt) introduced House Bill 5174 to request funding for the Advance Peace Peacemaker Fellowship, Ingham County’s and the City of Lansing’s joint effort to curb gun violence. The county and city will fund the bulk of the three-year project, whose total cost is just over $1.9 million. If passed, Hope’s request would make up the remaining funding needed, $356,900.

“As the recent spate of gun violence around the country and here in the Lansing area shows, we need to act quickly to save lives,” Hope said. “Advance Peace has succeeded elsewhere to reduce gun violence. There’s every reason to believe this community-focused approach can work here.”

Advance Peace’s mission is to reduce gun violence in urban areas. The work uses a community-based public health approach, focusing on individuals who are at risk of future violence.

“With the rise in gun violence over the last few weeks in Ingham County, the Advance Peace Peacemaker Fellowship program is greatly needed,” said Ingham County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Bryan Crenshaw. “We have to get people on the ground working with individuals to help address issues and hopefully stop gun violence from occurring. Any financial support for this program is greatly appreciated.”

“Greater Lansing Area Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense strongly supports this initiative to provide funding for Advance Peace,” said Katie See, local team lead for Greater Lansing Area Moms Demand Action. “This program has a proven track record in addressing the multiple causes and dimensions of gun violence such as we have seen in Lansing over the past several years.” 

The Advance Peace Peacemaker Fellowship Program enrolls individuals involved in violent firearm offenses in an intensive program that works to make these individuals mentors in their community. With a goal of breaking the cycle of violence, the program boasts a 50% decrease in firearm assaults.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis, a family crisis, and an economic crisis — an evil that ultimately has the power to splinter our city,” said state Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing). “The Advance Peace Peacemaker Fellowship is a testament to the strength of our community. Together, we will beat this.”