Community event to focus on research, responses to gun violence

One year after the launch of  “Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis,” members of the Washington University in St. Louis community will gather April 5 to focus on “Research, Reflection and Responses.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 4-7 p.m. in Knight Hall’s Emerson Auditorium on the Danforth Campus.

The gun violence initiative formed in spring 2015 as a yearlong look at one of America’s greatest public-health challenges: death and injury as a result of gun violence.

“Bringing together our academic strengths to address major societal challenges is a part of our mission,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton during the launch event for the initiative in 2015. “Our goal, by engaging in conversation, is to help develop real solutions that have a real chance of making a real difference and, in the process, help to reduce death and injury from firearms.”

Throughout the year, events and speakers explored three key themes: what we know, what we need to know and what to do about this critical issue.

Gun_Violence_logo“A year of study and conversation was important,” Wrighton said, “but everyone involved knows this is only the beginning. Now the entire St. Louis community must come together to help integrate what we have heard and learned into a workable, fundable, sustainable solution. This is where the real work begins, and it will take the commitment of many, working both together and in tandem.”

The yearlong initiative was led by the Institute for Public Health, in partnership with many entities on both campuses.

“In the past twelve months, we’ve made great progress in inspiring interest among the university and St. Louis community around this issue, bringing people together from across campus and throughout the region to help coordinate with one another and address these concerns, and hearing from experts both on campus and throughout the country on issues that relate to the multifaceted public-health impacts of gun violence,” said William G. Powderly, MD, the J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine, co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the School of Medicine and Larry J. Shapiro Director of the Institute for Public Health.

“I look forward to continuing to support the community partnerships, cross-disciplinary research, and student engagement that has been established in order to further the university’s ability to make an impact on this pressing public-health challenge,” Powderly said.

For more information and to register for the April 5 event, visit

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