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Ship and Anchor Partners With Tech & Arts to Combat Gun Violence in Washington, D.C.

Updated: Dec 7, 2023


WASHINGTON, D.C. As the nation's capital grapples with its highest homicide rates in two decades (250 at the time publishing), Ship and Anchor is working to help curb this troubling trend by working with community-based organizations.


Ship and Anchor is a social impact enterprise that focuses on business development, strategic communications, and operational effectiveness for businesses that serve or market to our four Impact Groups - current & formerly incarcerated people, students, small business enterprises, and BIPOC (black indigenous people of color).


The DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) reports in its 2022 Gun Violence Problem Analysis Summary Report that approximately 86% of homicide victims and suspects had prior criminal justice involvement (arrests in DC) prior to the incident.


Ship and Anchor founder and CEO Devin Smith remarks,

The current and formerly incarcerated make up our core Impact Group, and I realized through the University of the District of Columbia's Community Violence Intervention and Gun Violence Prevention Certification Program that our work already incorporates many of the evidence-based gun violence prevention methods. Now, we are just being more intentional by collaborating with partners for a more comprehensive approach.

Making a Difference Nonprofit (MAD)

Making a Difference, known as MAD, is a community-based nonprofit founded and operated by Prince Hamn, inspired by his anger with the number of candlelight vigils he began attending since 2017. The vision for MAD is to create an environment where everyone has a decent place to live, and inspire others to become better people.


Beginning summer 2023 Ship and Anchor began working with MAD to advance its movement with a group of mothers who lost their young sons to gun violence in the area since the 2020 pandemic called Strong Azz Mothers - a group of moms aiming to stop gun violence in the D.C. metro area.


The partnership began with the play "Turning Pain Into a Purpose: Say My Son's Name", which sold out within 24 hours. Developed out of a 10-week program that focuses more on wellbeing than theatrical excellence, the impact of the play & the rest of their work was captured by the Washington Post and even landed them a private meeting with Mayor Muriel Bowser to discuss concerns over gun violence in the District.


Watch video to learn more about Strong Azz Mothers and the project.

Watch the full performance here. Future performances are planned for 2024.


The Healing Outlet

The Healing Outlet is a community-centered app designed to seamlessly connect D.C. residents affected by gun violence with grassroots, on-the-ground organizations for prevention, intervention, and healing. It is a free space where multiple stakeholders can pool their resources, coordinate services and events, and create content that speaks to the community's specific needs. The vision is to empower people to join the anti-violence effort by sharing - and being compensated for - their healing stories, knowledge, and talents.


Through this partnership, Ship and Anchor expands its media footprint by providing content related to our What's Your Anchor Framework, a wellness-centered personal and professional development framework created by founder & CEO Devin D. Smith. This is the framework that powers our existing programs serving youth, the current and formerly incarcerated and our small business clients. Additionally, we plan to release exclusive content from our Letters from America's 3rd World multimedia series, which includes our award-winning documentary short film.


Click here to stay tuned for the official launch of this new app looking to transform the city's approach to collaborating on ending gun violence.


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