To disrupt the cycle of poverty by convening, collaborating and investing in strategies to improve outcomes for children and families. 

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

May 31, 2022

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

United Way of Greater Newark is proud to be a model of and a champion for diversity and inclusion. Our Board, staff, partners and volunteers reflect the cultures, ideas, views and values that comprise our 13-municipality network. For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Newark has been committed to supporting and improving the lives of our residents, working tirelessly to disrupt the cycle of poverty by convening, collaborating and investing in strategies that ensure equal opportunities and improve outcomes for children and families.


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At United Way of Greater Newark, we believe in full transparency with our constituency. Click here to view reports of our efforts. 

Message from United Way of Greater Newark’s

Board of Trustees and Catherine P. Wilson, President & CEO

The work of United Way is one of the heart. I recognize that all of us come together for this organization because we believe in the mission, the work we are able to accomplish together and the impact we have on our communities. This past year we funded over $3,000,000 to community organizations to mobilize around getting Newark, East Orange, Orange and Irvington vaccinated. We partnered with our corporate donors to provide coats to our neediest residents. We continued to distribute books to our students to ensure they had the opportunity to learn, grow and dream.
As we walk into 2022, I hope that you will continue to enthusiastically partner with United Way to ensure we fulfill our mission of disrupting poverty. I hope that you will continue to ask questions, offer suggestions, and challenge us in ensuring we are living our values, fulfilling our call to serve our communities in ways that we may not yet even understand.