ABOUT

Evelyn Fox knows first-hand that gun violence has a devastating impact on families and the broader community. On September 11, 2016, her son Kiesingar Gunn was killed when he was hit by a stray bullet. This had a heart-shattering impact on her— she lost her child and watched him helplessly on life support until he succumbed to his injuries. To date, the homicide of this young father of four remains unsolved.

Evelyn who has a professional background in social services, found it difficult to find support for herself and her family, in part because the assistance available lacked expertise and was only offered for a limited period of time. She recognized that there is a socio-economic gap affecting communities largely impacted by gun violence, that many often can’t access adequate trauma support as the services are not covered by the government and are unaffordable to the majority of victims and survivors.

Evelyn founded Communities for Zero Violence out of her undying love for her son, her continued love for her surviving children and her concern for the community as a whole. Her goal is to raise awareness about the devastating impacts of gun violence and address the gaps in services in an effort to reduce community violence across the City of Toronto. In addition to creating a healing network that picks up where government services fail to support people through their darkest days, Evelyn is a vocal advocate for policy change. She has spoken to federal and provincial leaders about the necessity of addressing the root causes of youth violence, which is entrenched in poverty and various mitigating factors. Undeterred by the additional strain of the pandemic, Evelyn continues to build support networks to help survivors and victims devastated by gun violence on their journey to healing.

COMMUNITIES FOR ZERO VIOLENCE

Founded in 2017, CZV is a Toronto-based advocacy and awareness non-profit agency that aims to take a holistic approach to connecting communities in order to eradicate violence while supporting victims and survivors.

CZV offers free crisis counselling—individual sessions as well as weekly group counselling by peers who have first-hand experience with the impacts of community violence. Other services include providing support with funeral arrangements and navigating interactions with the media, police and the justice system. Whether working behind the scenes providing support or at the forefront pushing for change at all levels of government, CZV has established itself as a key player in the fight to address the crisis of community violence in Canada.