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Gun Violence Prevention Summit, 2024


Day 1, Keynote Address: Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist

Lt. Governor Gilchrist has been a long-time advocate on the issues of gun violence, having lost several childhood friends to firearm accidents. He will be joined by a panel of local leaders, including Episcopal Bishop Bonnie Perry, Pastor Barry Randolph (Church of the Messiah Detroit), Maya Manuel of Sit Down MSU, and Kelly Dillaha of Red, Wine & Blue Michigan. Together, they will celebrate our historic achievements and discuss what must be done to realize the full potential of our new laws.

Finally Saving Lives: Overview of Our New Gun Violence Laws

After 40 years, Michigan has finally passed new gun violence prevention legislation. This session features a general overview of the new universal background check, safe storage, extreme risk protection order, and domestic violence legislation. We will also lay out what we hope to accomplish with the conference. Panelists include Jada Knight (No Speaker Without Today), Speaker Pro Tempore Laurie Pohutsky (HD-17), State Senator Stephanie Chang (SD-3), State Senator Rosemary Bayer (SD-13), Dr. Patrick Carter (U of M Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention), and Toby Barlow (Lafayette American). This panel is moderated by Jon Gold (Giffords, Executive Consultant).

Champions for Change: Our Legislative Leaders

This session highlights the incredible work of our Legislative Leaders as they fought to pass the first new gun safety legislation in 40 years in Michigan, Panelists include State Rep. Felicia Brabec (HD-33), State Rep. Amos O'Neal (HD-94), State Senator Sue Shink (SD-14), and State Rep. Kara Hope (HD-74). This session is moderated by Dwayne Gill of GCSI and Sherri Masson of Statewide Indivisible Michigan.

Community Violence Intervention

Community Violence Intervention uses community-based methods to stop cycles of violence. The goal of the program is to save lives and prevent the criminalization of communities by offering conflict resolution and social opportunities as an alternative to traditional law enforcement approaches. The panel will discuss the progress of Michigan's expanded CVI programs, particularly in Detroit. Panelists include Juan Carter (Giffords Center for Violence Intervention, Outreach Manager), Quincy Smith (Ceasefire Detroit, Program Director), and Jennifer DeLaCruz (MI Department of Health and Human Services). This panel is moderated by Ernest Coverson (Amensty International USA, End Gun Violence Campaign Manager)

Health Care Keynote

This keynote session features leading healthcare experts discussing how clinicians and healthcare providers can integrate gun violence prevention into their practices. The discussion will provide an overview of Michigan’s gun violence prevention laws as they relate to healthcare, and begin a conversation on how to implement those laws in hospitals, clinics, and mental healthcare settings. Speakers include: Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MD, MPH, FIDSA, Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan; Dr. Patrick Carter, MD, Co-Director for the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention; Dr. Brian Stork, MD, FACS, clinical researcher for SafERteens; Dr. April Zeoli, PhD, MPH, Policy Core Director for the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, and Lisa Geller, MPH, Senior Advisor for Implementation for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

Storytelling & Trauma: A journey from pain to power

Patrick McNeal is a community organizer (North Flint Community Action Council), pastor, and trainer. His session will focus on reclaiming personal narratives of violence and trauma and harnessing those stories for healing, growth, and advocacy.

Building the Movement: How Advocates Campaigned for Michigan's New Gun Laws

This panel will features a coalition of community leaders that worked together to lead the campaign for Michigan's new gun laws. This growing ecosystem of advocates has been critical for securing change in our state. What lessons do they have to share from this past few months of dramatic and dynamic advocacy? Speakers include: Mia Reid (Charles W. Reid Community Center,) Vicki Schroeder (Interfaith Action of Southwest Michigan, Episcopal Diocese of Eastern & Western Michigan), Celeste Kanpurwala (Moms Demand Action), Jon Gold (Giffords Gun Owners for Safety), Pastor Barry Randolph (Church of the Messiah), Maya Manu (Sit Down MSU), and Speaker Pro Tempore Laurie Pohutsky. Moderators include Samantha Martin (Children's Defense Fund) and Louisa Aviles (Joyce Foundation).

Day 2, Keynote Address: MI Attorney General Dana Nessel

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is our state's chief law enforcement officer who has used the power of that office to protect the people of our state. She was with us every step of the way as she testified, attended rallies, and kept the spotlight on the importance of gun violence prevention legislation. AG Nessel is joined by clinical social sowrker, domestic violence survivor, and DV survivor advocate, Kazia Kelly. This session is moderated by Ken Whittaker, Executive Director of Michigan United.

Extreme Risk Protection Order Best Practices

This panel features a training by nationally renowned experts on extreme risk protection orders from the Johns Hopkins Center on Gun Violence Solutions. They will focus on the specific policies and procedures that courts, law enforcement, advocates, and legal aid should use to most effectively utilize the new ERPO statute. This panel also features Chelsea Parsons, Implementation Director at Everytown for Gun Safety.

What's Next? Policies and Practices from Across the Country

This panel features a group of national experts who will share other ideas for future reforms in Michigan. We'll focus what has worked well in other states, and what could be accomplished at the federal level in the future. Panelists include Sean Holihan (Giffords), Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-7), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-6), Nick Wilson (Center for American Progress), MI State Representative Kelly Breen (HD-21), and Monisha Henley (Vice President of Government Affairs, Everytown for Gun Safety). This session is moderated by Ryan Bates (Executive Director, End Gun Violence MI).

Youth & Students Lead the Way

This panel focuses on the incredible youth and student organizers who have been key leaders in the fight against gun violence in Michigan. Listen them to discuss their successes and challenges as well as what messages they want to deliver to political leaders. Panelists include Maya Manuel (Sit Down MSU), Addie Collatz (Students Demand Action), Saylor Reinders (Students Demand Action), Ragine Head (Church of the Messiah and Voice Detroit), and Paul Jones (Church of the Messiah). This panel is moderated by former Oxford HS teacher and EGVMI organizer Lauren Jasinski (No Future Without Today).

Protecting Democracy from Violence: Anti Militia Laws & Extremism


This panel discusses the rise of political violence, particularly private militias. Professor McCord will specifically focus on how the 2nd Amendment is often misunderstood to protect armed activity, and how existing anti-militia laws can be used to prevent extremist violence. Mary McCord is Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) and a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. At ICAP, McCord leads a team that brings constitutional impact litigation at all levels of the federal and state courts across a wide variety of areas including First Amendment rights, immigration, criminal justice reform, and combating the rise of private paramilitaries. Professor McCord will be joined by representatives of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the PERIL project to discuss pre-radicalization strategies based on successful models in Germany. This session is moderated by Sam Martin, the State Policy Associate at the Children's Defense Fund.

What Our New Laws Mean for Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors


This session focuses on how the new gun violence prevention laws can be used to protect survivors of domestic violence. There will be a special focus on extreme risk protection orders and the new law disarming convicted domestic abusers. Panelists include April Zeoli (University of Michigan Firearm Injury Prevention Institute), Heath Lowry (Policy Specialist, Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence), Tanesha Ash-Shakoor (President, Voices of Color), Michigan State Trooper Kristina Droste, and Rick and Martha Omillian (Moms Demand Action and parents of Maggie Omilian, a domestic violence victim). This session is moderated by Christin Perry (President, Michigan Giffords Gun Owners for Safety).

Protective Orders: Using the Right Tools at the Right Time


This session focuses on how advocates, particularly for those serving survivors of domestic violence and other vulnerable populations, can use different sorts of protective orders to serve client needs. We will examine when to use the new extreme risk protection orders, when to use traditional personal protection orders, and how the two can work together. Our presenter, Julia Weber, is a former professor of domestic violence law at Golden Gate University and Director of Implementation for the Giffords Center.

School Safety


This session focuses on best practices for school safety and how the new laws might be integrated into this effort. This session will be lead by the National Center for School Safety at the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. Panelists include Dr. Alyse Folino Ley (MI School Safety and Mental Health Commission), Dr. Justin Heinze (National Center for School Safety), Dr. Chris Knoepke (University of Colorado Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative). This session is moderated by Emily Torres (Program Manager, National Center for School Safety).

Faith Leadership for Gun Violence Prevention

This panel focuses on the critical role that faith communities play in the gun violence prevention movement. The panel will examine service programs, such as gun buybacks and counseling, as well as leadership in advocacy efforts. Panelists include Pastor Chris Yaw (St. David's, Southfield), Chaplain Yolanda Stinson (Detroit PD), Rabbi Matt Zerwekh (Temple Emmanu-El, Oak Park), and Bishop Daryl Harris (Total Life Christian Ministries, Detroit). This panel is moderated by Bishop Bonnie Perry, Bishop of the Michigan Episcopalian Diocese.

Law Enforcement Strategies for Gun Violence Prevention

This session features law enforcement leaders from across the country who can share their experience and perspective on gun violence prevention, with a special focus on training resources for Michigan law enforcement agencies that are now tasked with implementing our new gun violence laws. We will also share best practices for firearm relinquishment. Panelists include Derrick Jackson (Washtenaw County Sheriff), members of the Spokane, WA PD and Ft. Lauderdale, FL PD, and Spencer Cantrell of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. This session is moderated by Dwayne Gill of GCSI.


"In an average year, 1,212 people die and 3,507 are wounded by guns in Michigan. Michigan has the 15th-highest rate of gun violence in the US."

" To strengthen its gun laws, Michigan could enact an extreme risk protection order law and invest in proven community violence intervention strategies."

"Implementation of strong Child Access Prevention laws by each state, which require safe storage of firearms, has the potential to significantly reduce pediatric firearm injuries." 

"Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense."

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