Gun Safety in Our Communities
Date and Time:
Feb 9 2023 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).


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Shannon Watts

Founder, Moms Demand Action

Pastor Brenda Mitchell

State Chapter Co-Leader for Moms Demand Action in Illinois and a Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network

Heidi Stevens

Chicago-based writer and Director of External Affairs for the University of Chicago’s TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health

Gun Safety in Our Communities

Activism | Adolescence | Advice | Behavior | Civics | Community | Connection | Culture | Education | Family | Grief | Gun Violence | Health | Law | Leadership | Mental Health | Parenting | Psychology | Public Health | Public Policy | Storytelling | Trauma | Well Being | Youth

Reeling from the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 and determined to stem the tide of school shootings, Shannon Watts launched the grass-roots advocacy group Moms Demand Action as a Facebook group the next day from her kitchen table. Over the next decade, Watts traveled the country advocating for stronger gun laws and other public safety measures that protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action has chapters in every state and Washington, D.C., and is now part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country, with nearly 10 million supporters. A mother of five, Watts has held a front-row seat to the human stories and harrowing statistics that shape America’s complex relationship with guns.

Brenda Mitchell is a Chicago-based ordained minister and grief counselor who lost her 31-year-old son, Kenneth, when he was shot and killed outside a bar — one week after his younger brother left for his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. Since Kenneth’s death in 2005, Mitchell has worked as a gun violence prevention advocate, serving as a Moms Demand Action in Illinois chapter lead, a Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network, and a volunteer with the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention.

In conversation with Chicago-based writer Heidi Stevens, Watts and Mitchell will engage in a robust, nuanced discussion around gun violence in our communities, their experiences as activists in the public realm, and what they want for the future—both their own, and the nation’s. Stevens is the Director of External Affairs for the University of Chicago’s TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health. Prior to joining TMW, Stevens worked at the Chicago Tribune for 23 years, where she wrote a daily column called “Balancing Act.” She maintains a weekly nationally syndicated column. She also serves as a FAN board member.

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on our website and YouTube channel.