“Gun Violence: An Event on the Power of Community” A special main stage session at the American Psychological Association’s 2019 meeting With shootings in the news virtually daily, every American has been affected by gun violence. This is especially true in Chicago, where more than 1,200 people were victims of gun violence in the first half of 2019. The problem can seem intractable, but psychology can play a vital role in preparing communities to reduce and prevent violence. 


In this 90-minute discussion, moderated by Chicago Tribune reporter Lolly Bowean, leaders and experts on gun violence will discuss how psychology help communities reduce or prevent gun violence. The session will begin with a brief discussion between Bowean and APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD.

Any solution to gun violence at the community level must include people who have lived experience. Eddie Bocanegra, MSW, of READi Chicago, a Heartland Alliance program, will discuss the trajectory of his life -- from childhood to gangs, to prison and parole, to offering an alternate path to those in the community who are most vulnerable to violence.

As the roots of violence can often be found in childhood exposure, developmental psychologist James Garbarino, PhD, of Loyola University, Chicago, will present his research on how violence in childhood begets violent adults and how to break that cycle.

While community involvement in stemming gun violence is important, it cannot happen in a vacuum. Robert Kinscherff, PhD, JD, a member of Harvard University faculty,  associate vice president for community engagement at William James College and a senior associate at National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, will discuss policy changes that can be implemented by local, state and federal governments to support community efforts.

Nelba Marquez-Greene, a marriage and family therapist whose daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook school shootings, will speak about her experience coping after such a high-profile tragedy. 


Saturday, Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m CDT


Skyline Ballroom, Room W375abc, Level Three-West Building, McCormick Place Convention Center, 2301 S. King Drive, Chicago.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 118,400 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.


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