Ten days after 19 students and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) used its social media channels to shine a spotlight on Gun Violence Awareness Day.
On Friday, Levi’s, Dockers, Denizen and Beyond Yoga shared facts about gun violence and what people can do to stay engaged on the issue. To the brands’ combined 8 million Instagram followers, LS&Co. posted facts on the number of Americans killed by guns daily and the frequency of mass shootings.
It also included how to support its nonprofit partners Live Free and the Black Brown Peace Consortium, along with Community Justice Action Fund, Sandy Hook Promise, and Mom’s Demand Action.
Since 2019, LS&Co. has provided more than $1.5 million to organizations working to address gun violence in the U.S. Nonprofits like the Community Justice Action Fund and Giffords Courage to Fight Gun Violence are addressing gun violence through advocacy and community violence intervention methodologies in Black and Brown communities disproportionately impacted, the company stated.
Levi Strauss & Co. president and CEO Chip Bergh joined more than 140 other CEOs in sending a letter to the U.S. Senate in 2019 asking them to act on gun safety by passing legislation that would require background checks and extreme risk protection orders. At the time, Bergh said: “Whether we operate in public spaces or provide the systems that make our economy work, the gun violence epidemic presents risks for us all. And when risk threatens your business, you act.”
“Gun Violence Awareness Day is a day we wish did not exist,” the company stated in a blog post. “But since it must, given the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in the United States—including the recent killings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, the equally horrifying events at the Tops market in Buffalo, and the 14 additional mass shootings that took place in just the ten days between the two—we want to use the day to bring light to the staggering facts about the toll gun violence has on Americans every day, mobilize action and declare once again that our elected leaders must set aside politics and work to pass gun violence prevention measures to make our communities safer.”
Reiterating sentiments Bergh shared in 2019, LS&Co. added that gun violence is a national, local and business issue as it affects safety. The company said it will support employees who want to join March for Our Lives marches on June 11. The marches began as a student-led demonstration in 2018 in support of gun control legislation following the mass shooting at Parkland, Fla.’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 students and staff were gunned down. For every hour employees spend volunteering alongside gun violence prevention nonprofits, they are eligible to apply for a grant to support that organization.
“We’ll stay at it as long as it takes—calling on elected officials, business leaders and citizens alike to join us—because our country and our communities cannot afford anything less,” LS&Co. stated.