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Gun Violence: As a Public Health Issue & Successful Community-Based Strategies

Thursday, January 30, 2020
2:00pm - 4:00pm PST
The California Endowment: Redwood
1000 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
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Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. Guns kill 40,000 people and injure another 85,000 people each year, in addition to the massive community-wide trauma inflicted as a result. The American Public Health Association recognizes the issue of gun violence as complex and deeply rooted in our culture but yet is completely preventable. A comprehensive public health approach to this growing crisis is now more crucial than ever.

After a tumultuous year filled with mass shootings and everyday gun violence, join us for an informative conversation about how to address the public health crisis of gun violence through an equity lens framework that addresses the key areas of interpersonal/domestic violence and suicide prevention.

Speakers will discuss how philanthropy and community-based strategies can revitalize our communities by promoting and ensuring wellness, safety, opportunity, and success for all.


Alex M. Johnson
Program Director, The California Wellness Foundation

Alex M. Johnson is a program director at The California Wellness Foundation, where he manages grantmaking related to preventing violence and strengthening community clinics. His responsibilities include reviewing letters of interest, requesting and evaluating grant proposals, conducting site visits, making funding recommendations and monitoring active grants.


Manal Aboelata
Deputy Executive Director, Prevention Institute

Manal Aboelata is committed to positive social change and healthy community development.

In her 20 years practicing in the field of public health, she has designed and built effective networks that have achieved significant public policy wins. She has worked alongside dynamic partners to inform public narratives, influence public agency practices and redirect public resources to communities of greatest need, all in support of creating safe and healthy neighborhoods for all.  For the last 16 years, she has centered her energy on generating collective solutions to address racial and spatial inequities in neighborhood conditions, contributing to a broad range of built environment issues including urban parks, healthy food access, accessible school grounds, neighborhood safety, clean air, land use policy, and walkability. Throughout her career, Manal has utilized her position as a public health professional to serve localized community efforts and broader social movements aimed at improving city life, addressing climate change and ameliorating neighborhood conditions. Her academic, professional and civic contributions have been recognized by the UCLA School of Public Health, the Durfee Foundation, Senator Curren D. Price, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Shani Buggs, Ph. D., M.P.H.
Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program

Manal Aboelata is committed to positive social change and healthy community development.

Shani Buggs’ primary areas of research include community-level gun violence prevention programs and policies, firearm access and availability, comprehensive approaches to reducing violence through policies and programs at the local, state, and federal levels, and intersections between drugs, drug law enforcement, and gun violence.  She completed her master’s degree in Public Health and her doctorate in Health and Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Brian Malte
Executive Director, Hope and Heal Fund

Brian Malte is a nationally recognized leader in the gun violence prevention movement. Over the course of his 25-year career, Brian has led community-based movements as well as strategic political campaigns for sensible gun reforms.

In 2001, Brian joined the Washington, D.C. office of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. First as National Field Director, then Political Director and lastly as National Policy Director for Brady, Brian became one of the country’s most familiar spokesmen for the burgeoning gun violence prevention movement. In 2016 he returned to his California roots to helm the Hope and Heal Fund to spearhead the philanthropic movement to increase support to local violence prevention organizations and to community advocates working to end gun violence.

Brian has been a featured speaker at many state and national conferences and routinely provides expert analysis to news outlets such as The New York TimesThe Washington Post, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, NPR and Mother Jones. For more information on Brian and to read his blogs please visit

Fernando Rejón
Executive Director, Urban Peace Institute

Fernando Rejón serves as the Executive Director after helping to build the Urban Peace agenda for a decade. He established the organization’s Urban Peace Academy as a platform to certify gang intervention workers, train law enforcement on the role of gang intervention and implementing relationship-based policing approaches, and engage public sector leaders on violence reduction strategies. He works to improve community safety by enhancing organizational capacity and supporting four key project areas: 1) the Urban Peace Academy, 2) Training and Technical Assistance, 3) Smart Justice, and 4) Prevention Initiatives. UPI currently supports cities throughout the nation to implement strategies to reduce violence, ensure police accountability, and develop policies to end mass incarceration and increase community-level investment for public safety.

Fernando has over 15 years of experience working in non-profits with a lengthy background in community organizing and program development. He has worked with probation youth, organized and fought for environmental justice, and worked to build bridges between indigenous communities in Mexico and people of color in the United States to fight for justice. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Communication Studies from the University of San Diego and a Master of Arts degree in Chicano Studies from California State University, Northridge.

Current SCG, NCG, and SDG Members: $0
Eligible Non-members: $100

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and SDG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

About this Location
This location is ADA compliant, has dedicated nursing rooms, and gender-neutral restrooms available.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Funding Area