UCI Law Task Force on Gun Violence Sponsored Congressional Briefing, National Town Hall and White House Meeting

Nov. 4, 2016

Image of Prof. Goodwin at Congressional Briefing

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 4, 2016 — The Initiative for Studying Gun Violence and Trauma, a national task force under the Public Health Initiative at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, sponsored a Congressional Briefing at the Capitol Visitors Center, a town hall event at the National Press Club and met with White House officials this week in Washington, D.C. Led by UC Irvine School of Law Chancellor's Professor of Law Michele Goodwin, these events called upon Congress to: address police shootings of unarmed Black Americans; study the overlooked trauma that resides in low income communities because of gun violence; and repeal the Dickey Amendment. 

C-SPAN broadcast the Congressional Briefing live, NBC News aired a piece about it and UCI Law livestreamed the town hall meeting. More than 100 Congressional staff attended the briefing and hundreds watched the town hall via periscope and live streaming.

Prof. Goodwin, joined by Dr. Patricia Jones Blessman, Jack Cole, and millennial activist, Camiella Williams, also met with White House advisors on violence against women and the intersecting issues of race, class, sex, and gun violence. Leading the group’s charge, Prof. Goodwin called upon the White House and its transition team to fight for the explicit repeal of the Dickey Amendment, which binds the CDC from pursuing much needed public health research related to gun violence. Goodwin also recommended the appointment of a Czar to address gun violence in the U.S. and urged funding to hire counseling staff in schools in low income communities to address gun violence. Prof. Goodwin pointed out the socioeconomic and racial disparities in mental health care services provided to young people depending on the wealth of their communities.

Photos and Videos

  • The recording of the Congressional Briefing on C-SPAN is available here.
  • Photos (most are courtesy of C-SPAN) are available here.
  • Please see the NBC piece about the task force events and national consequences of gun violence here.
  • The recording of the town hall is available here.

Panelists at the Congressional Briefing and town hall included:

  • Michele Goodwin, Chancellor's Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law and Director, Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy (CBGHP)
  • Robert Bennett, Esq., Civil Rights Litigator and expert on police-civilian interaction
  • Dr. Patricia Jones Blessman, Psychologist, expert on child trauma
  • Jack Coles, Co-Founder, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
  • Judge Glenda Hatchett (ret.), Representing Philando Castille's family
  • Camiella Williams, Regional Organizing Fellow at Generation Progress and Member, Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s Violence Prevention Task Force. Chicago native who has experienced the death of 28 loved ones
  • Dr. George Woods, President, International Academy of Law and Mental Health
  • Rev. Dr. Linda Peebles, Minister of Faith in Action, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
  • Nardyne Jefferies, Pioneer of Washington, D.C. guns rights movement and mother of Brishell Jones, who was killed in a mass shooting

About the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy

Under Founding Director Michele Goodwin, the CBGHP serves as a reference point for research, policy development and advocacy concerning urgent issues that relate to law, public health, science, biotechnology, bioethics and healthcare in the United States and abroad. The CBGHP engages multiple stakeholder communities: scholars, policy makers, civil society, healthcare providers, the judiciary and the general public, highlighting the collaborative role and function of law in responding to state, federal and international healthcare concerns.

For more information, please contact Prof. Michele Goodwin, mgoodwin@law.uci.edu.