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
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.