Launch Event for Gun Violence Initiative

April 1, 2015

On April 21, 2015, under the leadership of the Institute of Public Health and the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis will begin a yearlong look at one of our greatest public health challenges: death and injury as a result of gun violence.


The purpose of this initiative is to better understand and raise awareness of the issues, identify gaps in available data and research and explore ways in which Washington University could help address those gaps; empower policymakers and the public with better information to guide their decision-making; and find actionable measures that would lead to the reduction of gun violence.

Why this Focus?

According to the June 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, “the complexity and frequency of gun-related violence combined with its impact on the health and safety of the nation’s residents make it a topic of considerable public health importance.” And in February 2015, the nation’s leading health organizations and the American Bar Association jointly issued a national call-to-action for a public health approach to firearm-related violence and prevention of firearm injuries and death. As one of the world’s leading research institutions—with top-ranked schools of medicine and social work and a multidisciplinary Institute for Public Health—Washington University is well positioned to contribute to this effort.

Article in the Washington University Record introduces the yearlong university initiative.


The launch event in April will include remarks from special guest St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Alan I. Leshner, PhD, CEO Emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Edward Lawlor, PhD, Dean of the Brown School will moderate a panel of experts, including James Clark, Vice President of Better Family Life, Robert “Bo” Kennedy, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Becky Morgan, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and Nancy L. Staudt, JD, PhD, Dean of Washington University’s School of Law.


The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Eric P. Newman Education Center on the Medical Campus. Visit the event page for more information and registration.