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Emerson College hosts benefit for Operation LIPSTICK
The Last Straw: Operation LIPSTICK teams with Emerson College students to stop women from being used to straw purchase guns
Added: 04/02/2017 - Lala Thaddeus

Emerson College students will host a benefit for the nonprofit LIPSTICK--Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killing-- in Boston on Saturday April 15, 2017. Emerson is joining forces with LIPSTICK, the first program in the country to educate at-risk women about the dangers of straw purchasing guns for boyfriends, husbands, and other men who can’t get guns legally.

Straw purchasing' occurs when someone who cannot pass a criminal background check turns to someone else, often a woman, to buy guns for them. It is the most common way guns get into the wrong hands. Research found that women often act as straw purchasers for guns used in homicides and other violent crimes in Boston and cities around the country.

LIPSTICK was founded in Boston in 2013 and has been credited with a 33% reduction in gun crimes by women. The organization has recently expanded to Harlem and the San Francisco Bay Area and has appeared in People Magazine and other national media.

Emerson College students have selected LIPSTICK as the beneficiary of an annual gala they organize as part of coursework for Nonprofit Fundraising. Students will learn firsthand about nonprofit fundraising, public relations, community outreach, and more as they plan this year’s event in downtown Boston on April 15, 2017 from 7pm - 10pm at 216 Tremont Street in the Bill Bordy Theatre. The event will feature Suffolk County District Attorney, Daniel Conley , Boston City Councilor, Ayanna Pressley, and local comedian and political satirist , Jimmy Tingle , in addition to live music, entertainment, food and refreshments.

"It’s exciting when LIPSTICK resonates with a wide range of people, from mothers and grandmothers to community leaders and political movers and shakers." said Nancy Robinson, LIPSTICK executive director. "But it’s especially exciting when we connect with young people like the group we now get to work with at Emerson. Because they get what we’re trying to do--empower women to keep guns out of the wrong hands--they will be equipped to break cycles of exploitation and violence for generations to come."

Operation LIPSTICK aims to keep women and youth out of the criminal justice system, and has helped former straw purchasers become leaders, mentors, and spokeswoman for at-risk women and youth in their communities.

"We have a successful group here in Boston called Operation LIPSTICK. It's a grassroots movement that grew out of research showing that women, particularly young women, were being recruited into making straw purchases of guns that were later used in crimes. So a group of women, including the mothers of two children killed by gun violence, applied that knowledge to their daily lives. They began visiting urban beauty parlors, nail salons, and other venues where women came together and they laid out the fact that some of their peers were playing an indirect role in the violence that was hurting their community. I loved the idea and sent prosecutors with them to bolster their efforts. The result was a reversal of a rising trend of female defendants charged with weapons offenses. From what I've seen in the community, I believe Operation LIPSTICK played a significant role in this decline. That's a success by any measure." - Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley

Tickets for the event start at $75 each, available at . For inquiries visit the event Facebook page:

About Operation LIPSTICK

Operation LIPSTICK is women helping women keep guns out of the wrong hands and create safe neighborhoods where children can grow up without the fear of gunfire.

31 Heath Street Suite 12 Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 

Emerson College
120 Boylston St
Emerson College MA 02116

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