Joined by volunteers, sponsors, and concerned Americans, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Education Fund recently held its 2020 Virtual Annual Benefit. 

For those who missed the show, it’s not too late to watch. Visit www.wepowerin.org and click “Buy Tickets” – the password will be sent to you.

Through the generosity of its patrons, NYAGV Ed Fund raised over $200,000 to fund its programs to reduce gun violence by empowering those most affected by the issue to become advocates for safe and just communities.

The organization was pleased to honor the following champions of gun violence prevention: 

The Allard K. Lowenstein Award for Public Service: U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Rep. Jeffries has spent a decade in public service as a champion for social and economic justice, always highlighting the need to reduce gun violence and its root causes. Rep. Jeffries is a co-sponsor of bills to ban high-capacity ammunition, to repeal stand-your-ground laws, and to enact universal background checks on gun sales.

The NYAGV Founders’ Award: Aaron Karczmer, Chief Risk Officer and EVP, Risk and Platforms, PayPal. Mr. Karczmer began his career at the New York City District Attorney’s Office, where he was a member of the Firearms Trafficking Unit. As PayPal’s Chief Risk Officer, Mr. Karczmer spearheads the tech giant’s efforts to prevent gun trafficking online – including by funding research designed to guide efforts to monitor and respond to these illegal transactions.  Mr. Karczmer earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School, and a B.A. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

The NYAGV Founders’ Award: Actor Rob Morgan. Mr. Morgan is best known for his roles in critically-acclaimed films including Just Mercy, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and Mudbound. His performance in the independent film Bull earned him a Special Jury Award for Acting at the SXSW Film Festival. His most recent release, “Greyhound,” in which he stars opposite Tom Hanks, is available on AppleTV+. Mr. Morgan is a graduate of Virginia State University and lives in Brooklyn.

The Glenn and Edward Iscoe Youth Leadership Award: The Miller Mentorship Class of 2020. Thanks to the generosity of Carolyn Cohen and Larry Miller, our Miller Mentorship program is a summer workshop that allows students to explore how gun violence intersects with race, gender and economic inequality, and receive training on how to become effective advocates. The 2020 class of Miller Mentees – Agnes, Anasia, Ariana, Astrid, Celine, Chloe, Farah, Khairun and Marleny – have shown an exceptional commitment to ending gun violence, even in the midst of a devastating pandemic.

NYAGV also extends a special thanks to singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, actor and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, and actress and activist Adrienne Warren for their special appearances during the benefit. For a full list of guest appearances, visit www.wepowerin.org.