Anti-Violence Group Sandy Hook Promise Launches With Help From Tech Industry

A Newtown, Conn., non-profit organization seeking to combat violence, launched today, drawing on the help of several technology companies and individuals in the industry.

Sandy Hook Promise, which has applied for 501(c)3 status, will focus initially on helping those affected by the December 14 shootings heal, but will expand its mission to include work to alleviate violence in American culture. The group is made up of Newtown “community members, victims’ families [and] first responders,” it said in a tweet, but its website suggests that it got significant help from the tech industry to launch so quickly with a polished presence on social networks.

“There was a gathering of people in Newtown. It was in someone’s kitchen, and it was filled with friends and neighbors who knew they needed to be together. Gradually, as they spoke, they also realized something else.  They understood that they had a responsibility [t]o honor the kids and teachers they’d lost, as well as the survivors,” the group says of its genesis on its website.

Tom Bittman, a vice president at the technology consulting firm Gartner who focuses on cloud computing is one of its co-founders. Another is Lee Shull, who works at Dell. Ron Conway, a San Francisco resident who heads SV Angel, has also been influential.

“This is a promise to have conversations on all the issues. To listen to all sides,” the group tweeted.

“This is a promise to honor the lives lost by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation,” it said in another tweet.

The group began tweeting in the lead-up to its launch at a press conference earlier today in Newtown. It also has a page on Facebook (11,590 likes) and one on Google+ (46 +1′s).

Among companies that have earned special thanks from Sandy Hook Promise for their help to date are NationBuilder, Causes and Kluge Interactive Design and Development.

With thanks to several communications firms and McKinsey consulting, Sandy Hook Promise signals that it’s done its homework, and indeed, its founders must have begun serious planning almost immediately after the stunning tragedy that occurred in the town exactly month ago today.

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