Congressional briefing to bring together social work, mental health experts on need to end gun violence

Jun 5, 2019

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Gun violence has become an epidemic in our nation. Every year more than 7,700 children and teens are shot, and more than 36,000 people die from gun violence, according to the Brady campaign to end gun violence.

Social workers and mental health professionals play a critical role in helping schools and communities prevent violence. These experts are coming to Capitol Hill June 12 to offer their expertise to lawmakers during a Congressional briefing.

In conjunction with the Congressional Social Work Caucus and its chair Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), leading researchers and experts from around the country will discuss current scientific data surrounding the pressing need for the reduction of weapons and violence in schools and communities.

These experts will present empirical research detailing the impact of violence on the education and well-being of students, their families and local communities. Data-driven evidence will be offered to assist in the development of policy and legislation that can successfully mitigate weapons and violence in schools and communities, as well as increase empowerment and community safety.

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Sean Joe, Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
  • Dr. Dorothy Espelage, Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida
  • Dr. Marleen Wong, Professor of Clinical Social Work at the University of Southern California
  • Dr. Ron Avi Astor, Marjorie Crump Endowed Professor of Social Welfare, Luskin School of Public Affairs, Graduate Department of Education, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Lauren Hogg, Student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fl.
  • Pia Valenzuela Escudero, Executive Director at Los Angeles Unified School District, Division of Student Health & Human Services

 WHAT: The Impact of Weapons and Violence on Schools and Surrounding Communities: A Congressional Briefing

WHEN: June 12 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2261

Organizing Sponsors:

American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare

National Academy of Education

American Educational Research Association


National Association of Social Workers

American Educational Research Association

American Psychological Association

Brady Campaign

Clark-Fox Policy Institute, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis

Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy

Grand Challenges for Social Work

National Association for Rural Mental Health

National Association of County Behavioral

Health & Developmental Disability Directors

School Social Worker Association of America

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