TOMS Shoes announced “The End Gun Violence Together Tour,” a cross-country trip to deliver more than 700,000 postcards to Congressional representatives as part of the “End Gun Violence Together” initiative. Starting at TOMS HQ, the tour will visit cities across the country, hosting community events, and culminate with a rally in Washington D.C. on February 5th. Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Founder, Winter BreeAnne Minisee, National Youth Walkout Organizer, and Matt Dietsch, Chief Strategist at March For Our Lives, along with others will be on the road meeting with gun violence activists, affected communities, and concerned Americans along the way to hear their stories, collect more postcards, and bring their voices to the halls of Congress. Stops on the route will include Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and more.
The End Gun Violence Together Tour was announced at a rally this morning at TOMS HQ alongside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and gun safety advocates. The announcement follows the launch of the End Gun Violence Together initiative in November 2018, when TOMS announced a historic $5 million donation to organizations working to address the gun violence epidemic. Founding partner organizations include Black and Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium, Everytown for Gun Safety, Faith in Action, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, Live Free, March for Our Lives, and Moms Demand Action. TOMS additionally transformed their homepage to allow Americans across the country to take action and write postcards, calling on their Members of Congress to pass universal background check legislation, a measure supported by more than 90% of Americans.
“When we asked Americans to join the fight to End Gun Violence Together in November we could have never expected the incredible and immediate support we saw from people of every age, color and creed across the country,” said TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie. “More than 700,000 people joined the fight to send a message to Congress and we heard a chorus of voices calling on their representatives to make a difference by passing universal background checks. Last week, representatives introduced legislation that would make universal background checks mandatory from coast to coast, and now we are ready to show up in Washington to make sure this critical bill passes the House of Representatives.”
“We know that the time for action on gun violence isn’t after a shooting - it’s long before another tragedy occurs in our communities or on our campuses,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our city is the perfect place to start the End Gun Violence Together tour, because L.A. is showing the country how Americans can work together to get guns off our streets and build coalitions committed to keeping our schools, students, and neighborhoods safe.”
In the weeks since the campaign launch, activists, organizations, celebrities, and politicians from across the nation, including Sandy Hook Promise, former Representative Gabby Giffords, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Florida Georgia Line, Armie Hammer, Snoop Dogg, Richard Branson, Valerie Jarrett, Senator Chris Murphy, and many more, have quickly and fervently supported the campaign. Acclaimed artist Tyler Ramsey mobilized artists across the nation and in cities worldwide to create over 70 murals to further amplify the campaign.
"When people from all walks of life come together to speak up and demand change, a safer future is possible,” said Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, a retired American astronaut, engineer, U.S. Navy Captain. “With their ‘End Gun Violence Together' tour, TOMS is creating an opportunity for Americans to make their voices heard by calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan background checks bill and make our country safer from gun violence. We're proud of TOMS for continuing to empower people to be engaged citizens and for energizing us all to keep fighting to save lives."
“I started organizing the National Student Walkouts, which became one of the largest walkouts in our nation’s history, because as young people we understand the power of our collective voice” said Winter BreAnne Minisee, Organizer of Youth EMPOWER National School Walkout. “I am honored to be embarking on this tour across the country with TOMS so that we can hear the important stories of those all across the nation who are impacted by the gun violence epidemic in so many ways. With over 700,000 voices represented in the postcards we will bring to D.C., collectively we will send a loud and clear message to Congress: kids, students, adults, CEOs, celebrities, activists...all of us have had enough.”
To learn more about “End Gun Violence Together” and join the campaign visit TOMS.com and follow #EndGunViolenceTogether.