Charting the Path Forward: Speaker Series

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Engaging Science, Policy, and Practice to Reduce Gun Violence Disparities

Gun violence rose steeply during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to widening disparities for communities of color and youth. 

In this speaker series, interdisciplinary thought leaders in policy, prevention science, and practice will discuss the root causes of these disparities and needed solutions. 

Guest lecturers will explore this issue across community and school settings with a focus on approaches that can center community voices in prevention and increase equity.  

This series is presented by the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center at the Prevention Research Collaborative in collaboration with the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention and Injury Prevention Center.

Promotional image for speaker series: Community-Driven Gun Violence Policy Change with Greg Jackson

Community-Driven Gun Violence Policy Change

Greg Jackson, Executive Director, Community Justice Action Fund

Wednesday, June 14th, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Greg Jackson is a gun violence survivor, political strategist, and accomplished issue advocate. He has been a leader in the movement to end gun violence for over ten years. As Community Justice’s Executive Director, he has led advocacy to secure billions to fund gun violence reduction efforts and played a major role in passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

Greg Jackson will discuss his work on Capitol Hill to move the needle on gun violence policy change while centering voices from communities most affected by gun violence. He will also explore how researchers can collaborate more effectively on policy change efforts.

Promotional image for speaker series: Racism and Firearm Outcomes: The State of the Evidence with Dr. Daniel Lee

Racism and Firearm Outcomes: The State of the Evidence

Dr. Daniel Lee, Research Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention

Wednesday, July 12th, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Dr. Lee’s overarching research goal is to inform the development of firearm injury prevention programs that address the multifaceted, downstream consequences of structural racism among racially marginalized youth. Dr. Lee was most recently a Research Scientist at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Biostatistician, and Research Investigator at Children’s Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics, and a Research Faculty for the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Based on the results of a systematic review, Dr. Lee will provide an overview of the research on racism as a contributor to firearm violence. He will identify knowledge gaps and recommend future directions for studying racism as a fundamental driver of racial disparities in firearm violence.

Promotional image for speaker series: Comprehensive School Safety with Emily Torres

Comprehensive School Safety

Emily Torres, MPH, Center Manager for The National Center for School Safety (NCSS)

Wednesday, July 19th, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Emily Torres, MPH, has worked with NCSS at the Prevention Research Collaborative (PRC) since 2019. She has experience with youth violence prevention, community engagement, and providing technical assistance to schools to improve health and safety. Prior to joining the PRC, Emily worked for the Ohio Department of Health in their Primary Prevention Division. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan.

Emily will discuss the comprehensive NCSS school safety model, highlighting a variety of strategies to improve school safety, their evidence base, and considerations for equity. Her talk will also explore the value of taking a more holistic, positive youth development approach to firearm violence prevention that combines strategies like behavioral threat assessment, social and emotional learning, and restorative justice.

Promotional image for speaker series: Understanding and Addressing Racial Disparities in Youth Firearm Injuries with Dr. Jonathan Jay

Understanding and Addressing Racial Disparities in Youth Firearm Injuries

Dr. Jonathan Jay, Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health

Wednesday, August 2nd, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Dr. Jay works at the intersection of data science and community health, focusing on relationships between urban environments and health and safety risks. He is the principal investigator of a career development award from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities focused on preventing youth firearm injuries. He also leads Shape-Up, a project using analytics to help city residents reduce firearm violence through environmental improvements (winner of the $100k Everytown for Gun Safety Prize and a 2019 Solver with MIT Solve).

Dr. Jay studies urban health with a focus on youth exposure to gun violence. He will present his research examining multilevel strategies for reducing racial disparities in youth firearm injuries. His talk will explore trends in youth firearm disparities, their causes, and possible solutions.