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From the 1st Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

George Takei founds "One Pulse for America"

Finalist in Civic Engagement, Facebook Presence


A Crisis Demanding Action

Responding to the horrific mass shooting at an LGBTQ club on June 12, 2016, actor and activist George Takei founded One Pulse for America (OPFA), honoring the victims of this devastating ambush. OPFA is an action-oriented grassroots group dedicated to closing the "Passion Gap" with pro-gun activists. OPFA Facebook group advocates for life-saving reforms in Congress, state, and local legislatures.

In his widely read op-ed for The Daily Beast, George noted that the "obligation" to address gun reform, specifically the availability of semi-automatic weapons, is now squarely on the shoulders of the LGBTQ community, one of the most battle-proven communities in the world.

OPFA applies "social warrior" tactics to counter the efforts of the gun lobby. OPFA's social media engagements are as targeted, as constant, and as impactful as the messaging of the gun lobby.

Through actionable objectives, OPFA members:

- Call and write federal, state and local legislatures to bring strategic pressure by amplifying constituent support for gun reform bills while opposing watered-down ones, resulting in thousands of engagements;

- Volunteer, fundraise, and advocate for gun law reform; and

- Educate others about voting records of legislators while supporting politicians who back life-saving gun reform.

George and OPFA social warriors are prepared for long-term conflict, with the goal to balance out the financial and legislative power of the gun lobby.

Strategy and Execution

Catapulting a Grassroots Effort via Facebook Groups

George's call to form this group resulted in over 70,000 members in just two months. Armed with enthusiasm for action, George and The Social Edge hired seasoned gun-reform advocate, Ladd Everitt, to run the "battlestations" at OPFA. Ladd recruited a platoon of volunteer gun reform advocates to moderate the newly formed One Pulse for America Facebook group, generating daily calls-to-actions against gun violence.

Expanding Outreach with Like-Minded Organizations

Ladd engages his extensive contacts in the gun violence prevention movement, arming them with message amplification opportunities via OFPA members and George Takei's expansive social media network. As former chair of the National Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, Ladd coordinates among well known groups, including local and national groups like "Moms Demand Action" and Congresswoman Gabby Giffords' gun violence prevention organization, "Americans for Responsible Solutions."

Launching Action Among OPFA Members

The volunteer administrators ensure action alerts and daily posts are moderated and available for OPFA members' action. Members also post local activities for OPFA's grassroots efforts. Members are directed with respect to each specific call-to-action: write, call, post, rally, fund, volunteer.

Action Alerts have included the following:

- Generated thousands of engagement to legislators regarding gun legislation (phone calls, emails, social media posts);

- Provided the lion's share of crowdfunding for the #DisarmHate Rally in Washington D.C. in August, 2016;

- Protested social media activities that fund the gun lobby or gun manufacturers by inundating sponsors with protests;

- Defended individuals or organizations targeted by the gun lobby by rallying members in support, drowning out negative "troll" comments, and showing solidarity for the organization or person attacked.

Incorporating Facebook Tools for Topic Focus

George utilizes all Facebook tools available to him, to The Social Edge, and to the OPFA team, to expand the membership and action of OPFA. Most recently, a Facebook Live discussion prompted real-time interaction with George's fans, resulting in an OPFA membership increase during and after the live feed.

- On August 24th, George invited Astronaut Mark Kelly and Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to join him for a Facebook Live discussion about their gun violence prevention group, "Americans for Responsible Solutions."

- Kelly spoke of the importance of responsible gun laws for gun owners, including himself and his wife Gabby.

-The Facebook Live event was promoted by OPFA as well as via George's Facebook page. OPFA's partner organizations also informed their membership of this event.

Though the catalyst for the formation of One Pulse for America was violence, the Facebook group has built its reputation on action, education, and understanding.


Since its inception on June 17, 2016, OPFA membership has grown to 73K+ members.

OPFA's achieved phenomenal social and traditional media success, with a total of over 194 million impressions:

SOCIAL MEDIA (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Total Views (Reach/Impressions/Views): 79,661,883

Total Engagement (Reactions/Comments/Shares/Likes/Retweets): 7,505,669

TRADITIONAL MEDIA (Broadcast, Print, Online)

Total Impressions: 106,985,130

OPFA's 36 Action Alerts resulted in impactful achievements:

- Generated 1,200 engagements to federal legislators regarding three critical pieces of gun legislation (phone calls, emails, social media posts);

- Supported #DisarmHate resulting in $28K of $45K raised;

- Supported Oregon pastor, Jeremy Lucas, targeted by pro-gun supporters for melting down an AR-15. OPFA combatted online trolls: 870+ responses; 319 supportive comments;

- Bolstered Anne Verrill, who was targeted by pro-gun supporters because she did not want AR-15 owners to patronize her restaurant, Grace. Pro-gun trolls attacked Grace's Facebook page; OPFA showered the page with support.

- Shut down Rock Island Auction Company Facebook when it offered Nazi leader Hermann Göring's handgun as NRA fundraiser. OPFA asked Rock Island to instead donate proceeds to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Rock Island ignored requests. OPFA responded, disrupting Rock Island's Facebook on auction day.

Daily, OFPA continues to work towards the goal of ending gun violence.


Video for George Takei founds "One Pulse for America"

Entrant Company / Organization Name

The Social Edge, George Takei


Entry Credits