Abstract street map of Philadelphia, Text: Toll the Bell, A Cry for Peace


Every day, more than 120 Americans are killed with guns and more than 200 are shot and wounded.
(Source, via CDC)

In 2023, 374 Philadelphians were victims of fatal shootings, and an additional 1,292 were injured.

Toll the Bell is a year-long focus bringing greater awareness to the gun violence epidemic affecting our city and the entire country. Philadelphia has experienced historic increases in gun-related crime, claiming an unprecedented number of lives and bringing immeasurable pain and trauma to our communities. This endemic issue affects us all, but disproportionally impacts urban neighborhoods and people of color.

With a range of related programs including performances by 23/24 season artists-in-residence, the Negro Ensemble Company and Rennie Harris Puremovement, Toll the Bell culminates with a major city-wide sound installation. At 1 PM on June 7, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, there will be a prolonged period of bell ringing and other community-driven sound making across the city and beyond. A collaboration with Penn’s Office of the Chaplain, Interfaith Philadelphia and over 60 faith-based organizations and other partners, this event serves as a warning and a sonic device to disrupt the environment for Philadelphians, inviting them to stop and reflect on this tragic issue.

Toll the Bell is not a profile of tragedy, but rather a call to action – a literal ringing of the bell – to honor our fellow citizens who have lost their lives and raise awareness for those working to have a positive impact in our city.

» Learn more on our blog

Toll the Bell Vigil Service
Jun 7 @ 12:30 PM, Annenberg Center
Please plan to arrive by 12:15 PM as the vigil will start promptly.

At 1 PM, while the bells toll, we will walk as a group to the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.

Toll the Bell Sound Installation
Jun 7 @ 1 PM
Experience five minutes of simultaneous bell ringing and other sound making at 40+ locations across the city. These five minutes represent the one in five Americans who have had a family member killed by a gun. Connect with us while the bells are ringing. Tell us, in just one word, what do you feel while you hear the bells? Record a video or share a post with your word and use #tollthebell.

Stay up to date on Toll the Bell by joining our email list. Sharing about Toll the Bell? Use hashtag #TolltheBell.

William Penn Foundation logo
Lead support for Toll the Bell is provided by the William Penn Foundation.