1. Update
  2. Gun Violence

New Advocacy Corps Plan to Reduce Gun Violence

By Katie Breslin, Larissa Gil Sanhueza, July 1, 2019

One of FCNL's signature programs continues to grow with 20 young adults joining the 2018-2019 Advocacy Corps. This diverse group will organize their local communities in 16 states to reduce gun violence.

“I’ve hoped to join the Advocacy Corps since I first came to Spring Lobby Weekend three years ago. I appreciate the value that storytelling holds at FCNL, and I am excited to work with folks who want to bring their stories into this work and into the halls of Congress,” said Fiona Davis-Walsh of Medford, MA.

The new group includes young people studying social work, biomedical engineering, theater, child development, political science, criminal justice, law, film, public policy, environmental policy, and business administration.

The new FCNL Advocacy Corps organizers are:

  • Brenda Martell (NJ)
  • Chad Martin (FL)
  • Clare Carter (VA)
  • Fiona Davis-Walsh (MA)
  • Giselle Lopez Estrada (TX)
  • Grace Anne Gasperson (OH)
  • Grace Green (WA)
  • Hope Davenport (AR)
  • Jameelah Lewis (NV)
  • Jones Willingham (AL)
  • Jordan A. Rozier (NC)
  • Juan Daniel Avila (NM)
  • Justin Marks (UT)
  • Karmiela White (OH)
  • Kessia Andersen (WI)
  • Kynnedi P. Taylor-Henry (MS)
  • Lauren Elain Brown (TX)
  • Natalie Walls (AL)
  • Olivia Bravo (VT)
  • Ormond Derrick (FL)

“Our young organizers are passionate and driven to end gun violence in the country by organizing their local communities,” said Katie Breslin, FCNL’s young adult program manager.

They will focus on getting the Senate to pass the Background Check Expansion Act (S. 42). The House of Representatives already passed the companion bill, Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8).

FCNL staff and experts will train the Advocacy Corps on critical organizing skills through the Washington Summer Intensive, July 27-Aug. 3, in DC. From September 2019 to May 2020, they will connect with local activists and leaders to affect long-term change in their communities and nationally.

The FCNL Advocacy Corps is a paid, nine-month program for young adults between 19-30 years old. It was established in 2015 and 76 young adults have worked as organizers for FCNL.

Previous organizers focused on climate change, the militarization of local police, and comprehensive immigration reform.

In the fall, Katie Breslin begins her graduate studies in ministry at the Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, IN. Larissa Gil Sanhueza is the new Advocacy Corps coordinator.

Katie Breslin

  • Student at at Earlham School of Religion and Former FCNL Young Adult Program Manager

Katie Breslin served as FCNL’s Young Adult Program Manager. In that capacity Katie organized, trained, and supported the efforts of young activists and leaders to affect big, long-term change within Congress. She offered hands-on leadership experience for young people across the country who work on their college campus or in their home community to mobilize people to engage with Congress.

Larissa Gil Sanhueza

  • Young Adult Advocacy Coordinator

As the Young Adult Advocacy Coordinator, Larissa Gil Sanhueza focuses on developing and training young adult advocates around the country. Specifically, she manages the Advocacy Corps program, a group of 20 young adult organizers who mobilize their communities around one legislative issue every year. Larissa also oversees recruitment for Spring Lobby Weekend, a four day lobbying and educational event that brings together 500 young people from around the country.