Join community leaders, front-line stakeholders, and local advocates for the Building a Future Without Gun Violence Summit to learn about equitable, data-driven approaches to reduce the flow of crime guns in our cities.

We are excited to partner with CeasefirePA to convene community-based groups, grassroots advocates, experts, researchers, survivors, local officials, and more to learn about solutions that target the supply of firearms into our communities, while also focusing on healing and wellness.

Our goal is to shift the burden of solving the gun violence crisis from the communities most impacted, to members of the gun industry who continue to funnel guns into our neighborhoods. Together, we will discuss best practices, share policy and programmatic strategies, and create action plans to build a safer Philadelphia. 

We have hit max capacity and registration is closed. If you can no longer attend, please email [email protected].


Conference Schedule

April 16, 2024 (Half Day)

  • 1:00 PM | Check-In
    • 1:30 PM | Opening Keynote with Conference Chairs Rachelle Hunley of Brady and Adam Garber of CeasefirePA
    • 1:45 PM | Community Ambassador Oronde McClain
  • 2:00 PM | Finding Our North Star: Charting the Path to an America Free of Gun Violence with Rachel Hunley
  • 2:30 PM |  Heal the Healer Activities 
    • The Apologues: Interactive Art Demonstration with Zarinah Lomax
    • Soul Haum Yoga: Trauma-Informed Yoga with Jasmine Allen
  • 3:30 PM | Community Presentation (2-3 spoken word)
    • Resource Fair and Poster Presentations
    • Happy Hour (appetizers will be provided as guests view posters and resources, and tours of Lincoln Financial Field will also be offered) 
  • 6:00 PM | Closing

April 17, 2024

  • 8:00 AM | Check-In and Breakfast
  • 9:00 AM |Keynote and Presentation: Understanding the Causes of Gun Violence: A Supply-Side Perspective with Josh Scharff and Rachelle Hunley
  • 10:00 AM | Break
  • 10:15 AM | Breakout Sessions
    • Track 1, Research: The Suppliers of Philadelphia’s Gun Violence with Grace Beyer, Anneliese Dickman, and Tess Fardon
    • Track 2, Policy: Pennsylvania Legislative Approaches with Adam Garber and Tanya Schardt
  • 11:30 AM | Lunch and Networking 
  • 1:00 PM | Community-Led Programming
  • 2:15 PM | Breakout Sessions
    • Track 1: Payment for Guns: What Card Networks Can Do to Stop Gun Violence with Hudson Munoz
    • Track 2, Policy: Voices of Hope: Exploring Gun Violence Survivors' Storytelling and Its Impact on Policymaking with Hannah Jones, Delphine Cherry, Jeani Garcia, Meredith Elizalde, Bilal Abdul Qayyum, and Dr. Dorothy Johnson Speight
    • Track 3, Programs: Exploring the Impact of Stereotypes on Gun Violence — Breaking Down Barriers to Change with Erica Rice, Dr. Curtis Callands, Dr. Odessa Tate, Christopher Waiters, Ericka Gaines, Andrew Williams Sr.
  • 3:30 - 4:30 PM | Closing


Day 1 Speakers

Philadelphia Center Gun for Gun Violence Reporting Newsroom Liaison Oronde McClain

Oronde McClain is the Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison at the Philadelphia Center Gun for Gun Violence Reporting and an Emerging Leader Fellow with the Stoneleigh Foundation. He first joined the Center as a participant in the Credible Messenger Reporting Project, through which he produced his first documentary: “They Don’t Care About Us, or Do They?” He is also the founder of the McClain Foundation, which provides accommodation for children who are receiving medical care due to gun Violence and suffering from mental illness and PTSD. Oronde McClain was shot in the head at age 10 in Philadelphia and it took him 12 years to recover from his injuries.

Hunleys for Humankind Chief Data Storyteller Rachel Hunley

Rachel Hunley is the chief data storyteller for Hunleys for Humankind. She is a public health professional who holds a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Sciences. Throughout her academic and professional career, Rachel has dedicated her efforts to addressing chronic disease, health disparities, and systematic racism in ethnic, sexual, and gender minority populations. Her dedication to these issues is evident in her work as a facilitator of training, overseer of projects focused on health equity and disparities investigation, and the establishment of community advisory boards to ensure authentic community voice throughout the public health planning and research processes. Additionally, she has worked to emphasize the importance of academic-community partnerships in improving the health and well-being of all.

Rachel's work experience includes providing oversight to various projects, including working with nonprofits to develop and implement population-specific programming, working with stakeholders to provide best practice training, and organizing local, state, and national conferences for public health professionals. Her expertise in these fields has allowed her to make a significant impact in the field of public health. Rachel's commitment to addressing health disparities and promoting equitable health outcomes is evident in her dedication to her work and the constant pursuit of innovative solutions.

Zarinah Lomax of The Apologues

The Apologues is an art exhibit that uses the arts to assist individuals in healing, empowering themselves, and advocating against gun violence and trauma that plague urban communities. Through the use of fashion, art, and music, the Apologues honors the emotions of untreated trauma through the realm of storytelling to trigger healing. They do this through the combination of self-portraits of victims and co-victims, wearable art and musical experiences combined, and art therapy.

Soul Haum Yoga Owner Jasmine Yaa Allen

Jasmine Yaa Allen is a Philadelphia native and owner of Soul Haum Yoga, a trauma-informed yoga studio located at 27th and Girard. Soul Haum Yoga's intention is to make the practice of yoga, and movement overall, more accessible, inclusive, and healing focused. Yaa is a trained yoga instructor, grief clinician, and somatic experiencing practitioner. She believes that in order to process trauma and stress and ultimately learn new skills to cope with the stressors of life which disproportionately impacts communities of color, we must involve our bodies and connection. She uses her expertise to train and teach about trauma-informed modalities in the city of Philadelphia and beyond.

Community Leader Marion Wilson

Marion Wilson, a distinguished community leader, entrepreneur, and artist, has etched a remarkable path that merges his fervent passion for music and community engagement. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wilson’s journey into the realms of music and community activism has been fueled by a lifelong dedication to these twin passions. His journey took a dynamic turn as he ventured into the realms of recording and entrepreneurship, founding Rapademics LLC, a venture that seeks to innovate at the intersection of music, education, and community development.

Wilson’s artistic prowess has not only allowed him to share stages with iconic figures such as the poet Sonia Sanchez but also enabled him to tour with renowned recording artists like Snoop Dogg and The Plain White Tees. His foray into the world of poetry slams has seen him traverse the country, engaging audiences with his poignant and powerful spoken word performances.

Beyond the stage, Wilson’s impact extends into academia, where he employs his unique blend of hip hop and educational insight to lecture at prestigious institutions like the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and Temple University. His innovative approach uses hip hop as a lens to dissect and discuss five decades of policy, employing the narratives of hip hop griots to illuminate the socio-political landscape of the times. Through this, he not only showcases the rich cultural tapestry of hip hop but also underscores its significance as a reflective and transformative medium in understanding and addressing societal issues.

Marion Wilson’s multifaceted career is a testament to the power of combining passion with purpose. By bridging the gap between music, community, and education, he continues to inspire and influence a diverse audience, making significant contributions to the cultural and social fabric of his community and beyond.

Day 2 Speakers

Brady Combating Crime Guns Initiative Director Rachelle Hunley

Rachelle Hunley is an accomplished leader in public health and injury prevention. In addition to championing survivors and enhancing community-based programmatic visibility, her expertise lies in the development and implementation of strategies to reduce gun violence in the community.

Her experience includes program design and supervision of hospital-based violence intervention programs. She has been instrumental in creating and implementing community-wide initiatives to address gun violence. In collaboration with local officials and community leaders, she has made gun violence a priority in communities across the country. In addition, she has trained clinicians and other professionals in gun violence response and victim support. A leading advocate for gun violence survivors, she advocates for policy changes. Rachelle serves as the Director of Brady United's Combating Crime Gun Initiative. In this role, she is dedicated to shifting the burden of gun violence from communities to crime gun suppliers. Through her efforts, Rachelle is working to disrupt the illegal gun market and reduce the number of firearms in criminal hands.

Brady General Counsel and Senior Director of Program Josh Scharff

Joshua Scharff is general counsel and senior director of Programs at Brady. Having previously represented victims of gun violence in lawsuits against the gun industry, Josh brings a specialized perspective to Brady’s Programs and Policy teams. Josh leads CCGI, as well as Brady’s Government Transparency for Gun Violence Prevention program. Josh graduated from Rutgers University in 2005, and received a joint J.D./M.A from The George Washington University Law School and The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 2010. Prior to joining Brady in 2017, he practiced law at a private firm in Washington, D.C., specializing in arbitration, civil litigation, and negotiations.

Brady Programs and Development Associate Grace Beyer

Grace is proud to work at Brady to fight to end the epidemic of gun violence. As part of the Combating Crime Guns Initiative team, she digs deep on the sources of crime guns, and the behavior that allows them to flood communities unchecked. In this role, she is also a keystone of Brady’s Government Transparency for Gun Violence Prevention program, managing the tool, analyzing data, and authoring reports. Prior to joining Brady in 2022, she worked at a variety of nonprofits conducting research and drafting testimony. Grace earned her B.A. in Political Science at Rice University and Master’s in Public Administration at George Washington University, where she conducted months-long program evaluation of a gun violence prevention group’s advocacy program.

Brady Senior Counsel Tess Fardon

Tess graduated from University of Virginia’s School of Law in 2018, where she was a Law and Public Service Fellow; member of the Family Alternative Dispute Resolution and Child Advocacy clinics; Vice President of the Domestic Violence Program; and Managing Editor of the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law. Before joining the Crime Guns team, Tess started her legal career as a Kennedy Fellow in Brady’s affirmative litigation department. In her current role, she spearheads Brady’s public records work; assists in the analysis and implementation of supply-side policies; and works to hold the gun industry accountable for its facilitation of gun trafficking and subsequent violence, and the government accountable for its failures to reform or shut down problematic gun industry actors. She is based in the D.C. region, where she lives with her husband and (more importantly) her dog.

Brady Midwest Senior Program Manager Anneliese Dickman

Anneliese has been a public policy professional for over 25 years, focusing on local government issues important to neighborhoods and families, including gun violence prevention, K-12 and early childhood education, economic development, workforce development, and civil rights.

Presently, she works directly with local governments and impacted communities to stem the flow of firearms from the regulated to the unregulated markets as the Milwaukee program manager for the crime gun initiative. Prior to joining Brady, Anneliese was the communications director of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, the state’s oldest and largest grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to preventing gun violence and reforming gun laws. Previously, Anneliese spent 14 years as the research director of the Public Policy Forum, the Milwaukee Region's non-partisan think tank, where she led a team of professional researchers dedicated to good government and evidence-based public policy. She is the co-author of "School Choice and the Question of Accountability: The Milwaukee Experience," published in 2003 by Yale University Press. Anneliese is also an active community volunteer, currently serving as president of the board of the Jewish Museum Milwaukee and on the executive committee of the Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council. A Colorado native and proud ski mom of two dedicated racers, Anneliese holds a J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and a B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Brady Combating Crime Guns Initiative Program Associate Inez Asiama

Inez Asiama is a Program Associate at Brady for their Combating Crime Guns Initiative, joining Brady in 2022 right after receiving her bachelor's degree from Christopher Newport University, double majoring in Political Science and American studies with a minor in US National Security.

While getting her bachelor’s she interned for Senator Mark Warner aiding to hear and address the concerns of constituents. Passionate about gun violence prevention and how it disproportionately impacts black and brown communities, Inez has worked alongside members of her team to facilitate storytelling events, providing impacted communities space to heal while also educating them on supply-side solutions to gun violence. She has aided in producing three "Building A Future Without Gun Violence" citywide conferences in Chicago, San Francisco, and now Philadelphia with the goal of shifting the burden of blame regarding gun violence from impacted communities onto the gun industry that is responsible for the flow of guns into our communities.

CeasefirePA Executive Director Adam Garber

Adam Garber is CeaseFirePA’s executive director. Before joining CeaseFire PA, he worked to protect everyone from dangers in the marketplace at U.S. PIRG where his independent investigations into toxic toys, dangerous cars, contaminated food and other threats received national coverage on CBS This Morning, the New York Times and elsewhere. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade advocating for clean air and water in Pennsylvania at the local, state and national level. Adam lives in South Philadelphia with his wife and young son, Elon, where he enjoys studying history, exploring the city and cooking.

Brady Senior Counsel and Director of State and Federal Policy Tanya Schart

With over 15 years of legal experience and a background in gun violence prevention, international law, and human rights law, Tanya Schardt brings a variety of skills to Brady to further its state and federal policy initiatives.

She began her career in civil practice, where she defended individuals and corporations in various cases, then pursued an LL.M. in International Public Law. For her masters’ thesis, Tanya evaluated the legality of the Second Amendment under international human rights treaties and laws. Tanya continued this line of work at Amnesty International USA, where she helped write a report entitled “In the Line of Fire: Human Rights and the U.S. Gun Violence Crisis.”

As senior counsel and director of state and federal policy at Brady, Tanya works alongside a broad swath of stakeholders — including elected officials, agencies, partners, and grassroots organizers — to advocate for gun violence prevention policies, executive actions, funding, and programs. Since joining Brady, she has assisted in helping pass more than 100 gun violence prevention bills in states nationwide and has worked on numerous bills to combat ghost guns, increase gun industry accountability, and regulate assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

Tanya earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law, and an LL.M. from KU Leuven.

Team ENOUGH Co-Founder and Gun Violence Survivor Aalayah Eastmond

Aalayah Eastmond is a 2019 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. On February 14, 2018, she was in the third classroom attacked by a gunman who murdered 17 students and staff. Turning pain to action, Aalayah has dedicated her life to preventing gun violence in America. She has been specifically vocal about the chronic gun violence that affects young Black people daily, which is particularly important to her because her uncle was shot and killed in Brooklyn, NY. She has spoken at the March For Our Lives, testified before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, and participated in the March on Washington. She is currently the Team ENOUGH national administrator, the co-founder of Concerned Citizens D.C., and a graduate of Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C.

CeasefirePA Advocate Cayla Waddington

Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Cayla Waddington is the lead attorney and captain of the school’s internationally renowned Mock Trial team. Cayla is a passionate advocate for youth voices in the struggle against gun violence. This has allowed her to become the lead intern for Philadelphia city council member Isaiah Thomas. She has led many protests, spoken at the Pennsylvania state capitol, and is now the first-ever youth board advisor for CeaseFire PA. Cayla aspires to become the change she wants to see in the world through the legal field and becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

YEAH Philly Advocate Presley Barner

Presley Barner was born and raised in West Philadelphia. An early graduate of Upper Darby High, Presley is in her first year of college studying to be a dentist with the goal of opening her own community dental practice. Presley loves fashion, traveling, vlogging, makeup, and serving her community. She has dealt with extensive loss, violence, and trauma, and has been with YEAH Philly since 2019. She has taken her hard life experiences and turned them into motivation to help other people her age who deal with similar things.

YEAH Philly Advocate Leem Washington

Leem Washington is 19 years old from Uptown Philadelphia. He likes playing basketball, making music, and making money. Due to cycling in and out of the legal system, Leem has been a participant with YEAH Philly since 2021. With court advocacy and support, he’s been able to beat his legal cases and work through serving his community. When Leem’s not working, he spends time with his 5-year-old son, Siddiq.

YEAH Philly Advocate Rodney Gardner

Rodney Gardner is 23 years old, born and raised in Philadelphia. He enjoys writing poetry, reading, and learning new things. Rodney is a formerly incarcerated youth who uses his experience to help other youth in the community navigate their legal cases. He is a future fellow with YEAH Philly to help keep youth in the community with services instead of being incarcerated. He is an advocate, a leader, and a fellow for three other organizations such as YASP, JLC, and Care Not Control.

NOMO Advocate Kamanie Sutton

Kamanie Sutton is a 13-year-old 8th grader at Universal Institute Charter School. Kamanie has been an active member of the NOMO Foundation for over a year and is a vital asset to our group of young people. The NOMO Foundation’s mission is to provide young people and our community with a safe space to develop positive life skills and nurture their potential to break the cycle of poverty, imprisonment, and homelessness with a goal to end generational curses. Kamanie was recently elected as the first Student Council President at the NOMO South location and will serve as the voice among her peers until the next term begins on July 1st. On top of being an exceptional member of the NOMO Foundation, Kamanie is also in the Yearbook Club, volunteers tutoring Kindergartners and teaching them how to play the African Drums, and is an Honor Roll Student at her school. Growing up in South Philadelphia has exposed Kamanie to gun violence at a young age and has driven her to work towards reducing gun violence among herself, her peers, and her community.

Guns Down America Executive Director Hudson Munoz

Hudson Munoz is the executive director of Guns Down America. He joined Guns Down America from Amalgamated Bank, where he led the bank’s effort to establish a merchant category code for gun and ammunition stores. He brings expertise on the intersection of finance and the firearms industry to the movement to end gun violence. In addition to his work on the gun store merchant category code, Hudson was the research consultant who led Guns Down America's research into the bank and retailer relationships with the gun industry. Hudson graduated with honors from The Johns Hopkins University’s dual Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts in Government program.

Facilitator: Brady Director of Organizing Hannah Jones

Hannah Naomi Jones, a resilient advocate for social change, draws from personal experiences to fuel her unwavering commitment to justice and equity. Witnessing the shooting of two teenage girls in front of her Los Angeles home at the age of four and enduring the loss of family and friends to day-to-day gun violence, she has dedicated her life to addressing systemic issues like gun violence.

As an influential TEDx speaker, Hannah spearheads impact strategy, storytelling, and community partnerships to design effective solutions through advocacy. Her work focuses on creating social impact, shaping policy, amplifying marginalized voices, and ensuring equity and justice. Hannah advocates nationwide, including in Washington DC, for social change, gun violence prevention, and community empowerment. Rooted in principles of justice, her strategic approach addresses challenges in education, healthcare, the arts, finance, faith communities, justice reform, environmental justice, public safety, and law enforcement.

Driven by her passion for social impact, Hannah believes in the power of collective work, using "ujima" to address issues like gun violence, food insecurity, housing, education inequity, systemic racism, and restorative justice. Her values, rooted in life experiences, guide her pursuit of vibrant, equitable, and just communities. Hannah has a decade of higher education systems change and advocacy experience and three decades of community development and change work. She currently serves as the Director of Organizing at Brady United Against Gun Violence, is a graduate of CSU Fullerton and is pursuing attending American University Washington College of Law focusing on US Legislation.

Brady Illinois Chapter Lead and Gun Violence Survivor Delphine Cherry

Delphine Cherry's philosophy is to believe in yourself, to follow your dreams, and to make a difference in the lives of others through knowledge, wisdom, and positive guidance. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Delphine inherited her mother's generous spirit. Delphine's fight for justice began in 2013 after the loss of her two beloved children to gun violence in 1992 and 2012. In addition to advocating for a range of social and political causes, Delphine founded the Tender Youth (TY) Foundation, which provides support and resources to survivors, families, and loved ones. Her achievements include founding the TY Foundation, becoming the Brady Campaign Chicago Chapter's Co-Chair, and serving as the Village of Hazel Crest's Youth Commissioner. Her goal is to stop more parents from having this terrible tragedy happen to them by building an alliance of Illinois gun violence prevention activists. Delphine joined the Brady Campaign in 2013 and has taught many people about how gun violence destroys lives and communities. Delphine has been a leader of the Chicago Brady Campaign chapter for almost five years. She has helped organize many rallies, protests, lobbying days and other events.

Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley Director of Operations and Survivor Jeani Garcia

Jeani Garcia is a first-generation Vietnamese American woman, who immigrated to the United States after the Vietnam War in 1975. As an immigrant, Jeani Garcia experienced violence, racism, and poverty. She tragically lost her beloved son, Kareem Fedd, on August 24th, 2012. He was shot four times while sleeping in his bed. In 2017, "Justice for Kareem" motivated her advocacy for Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley and gun violence prevention. During her time as a volunteer at PNLV, she raised awareness about the district’s failure to seek justice in her son Kareem's case. Subsequently, after five grueling years, the offender was apprehended, charged, and sentenced to 25-60 years.

Her passion for equity and justice, and for citizens in the community to live healthy, safe, and successful lives is unwavering. Jeani is a community leader and social activist with over seven years' experience helping her community. Her dedication to the community has been recognized by Allentown residents, and other jurisdictions. She has inspired civil servants and many administrations to support her mission to promote equity and inclusion for marginalized citizens. In 2020, Jeani founded Mother 2 Mother, which supports mothers and families who have also lost loved ones to gun violence. Through her work, Jeani helps create a safe, positive environment for grieving mothers and their families.

Survivor and Advocate Meredith Elizalde

Meredith Elizalde is Nick's mom. Her son, Nick, continues to be her greatest blessing, even in death. She will never stop fighting for his legacy, striving to live by his example, and bringing common sense to the American consciousness. Nick's passing left an indelible mark on Meredith's life. She is determined to honor his memory by carrying on his legacy of compassion, intelligence, and bravery. Meredith strives to embody the values that made Nick so special, sharing his message with as many people as possible.

The Father’s Day Rally Committee, Inc. President and Executive Director Bilal Abdul Qayyum

Bilal Abdul Qayyum serves as president and executive director of the Father’s Day Rally Committee, Inc. (FDRC). Since 1989, FDRC’s mission is to implement grassroots, call-to-action, responsibility and community campaigns in response to societal and community challenges facing African American fathers, males, and the community at-large in Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware Valley.

Qayyum, an activist born of the ‘60s civil rights movement, attended Tennessee State. University where he majored in Business and Sociology. His drive and leadership as a community organizer led him back to his hometown of Philadelphia. Bilal emerged as an effective administrator and fierce and vocal leader that served in the Philadelphia’s city government under an unprecedented five administrations – in the offices of Community and Youth Employment; Housing and Community Development; Economic Development for the Department of Commerce – spanning 35 years.

Qayyum has served on many community boards such as Philadelphia’s Multicultural Affairs Congress the Police Advisory Commission and Governor Wolf's Commission on African American Affairs. His passion for inclusion and economic opportunity led to the creation of Philadelphia’s African American Chamber of Commerce and Philadelphia’s first Minority Enterprise Development Conference – a weeklong instructional and network meeting for minority-owned businesses. His effective leadership and tireless contributions have led him to be ranked by the Philadelphia Tribune as one of Philadelphia’s most influential African Americans for fifteen years (2005-2024).

Dr. Dorothy Johnson-Speight, EdD, MHS, LPC, Founder and National Executive Director of Mothers In Charge, Inc.

Dr. Dorothy Johnson Speight was honored to be the mother of Khaaliq Jabbar Johnson but at the early age of twenty-four, his life was taken, not by illness or accident, but by an act of gun violence over a parking space dispute. Grief-stricken and devastated by this senseless act, Dorothy channeled those emotions into the start of Mothers In Charge, a grass-roots organization dedicated to violence prevention, intervention, and education. In the beginning, from what started as connecting with a small group of mothers dealing with similar circumstances, Dorothy has built an organization that provides support to thousands of grieving families as well as awareness and violence prevention activities to the public to prevent others from experiencing the pain of a death of a son, daughter or loved one to violence.

With too many accolades and awards to enumerate, Dr. Dorothy has been identified as a national expert on issues related to gun violence and the grief associated with such a tragedy of having a loved one taken under such traumatic circumstances. Recently, Dr. Dorothy was honored to serve on both PA Governor Josh Shapiro and Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker's Public Safety Transition Teams. She has also been acknowledged by the Philadelphia Tribune Newspaper as one of Philadelphia’s Most Influential Persons, as well as garnering a Lifetime Achievement Award from Philadelphia United As 1. Additionally, she is a trusted and dependable partner among the community, elected officials, the District Attorney's Office, the Philadelphia Police Department, as well as other grassroots community groups. As part of the City of Philadelphia’s Trauma and Healing Network, Dr. Dorothy Johnson-Speight is dedicated to being a leading voice against the epidemic of violence, advocating for change, and making a lasting, positive impact on communities, nationwide.

Erica Rice, MSW

Erica Rice is the former California senior program manager for Brady’s Combating Crime Guns Initiative. She has worked as a systems-builder in diverse non-profit organizations focused on a variety of issues ranging from the impact of social determinants of health on vulnerable communities to the challenges experienced by incarcerated parents and their families. From assessing the impact of a gender equity program in South Africa as a way to decrease HIV/AIDS contractions among youth, to creating therapeutic environments for child welfare-involved families to address intergenerational trauma, Erica has worked continuously in violence prevention spaces. Most recently, she worked for the City of Oakland as a part of the violence intervention unit, Oakland Unite, within the Human Services Department. Erica has a Master's in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor's in Social Work from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

Dr. Curtis Callands, Author

Dr. Curtis Callands is an educational practitioner, training consultant (Resiliency Consultants, LLC) and Philadelphia native who has been embedded in the field of special education for over 20 years. In his consultant work, he has developed a conflict resolution and trauma- informed care professional development series designed for educators, correctional facility and law enforcement personnel, healthcare providers, and caregivers who work with individuals exposed to adverse experiences. In the field of education, Dr. Callands is a principal of a trauma-informed care school and former special education teacher of an emotional support classroom. He applies practical experiences, positionalities, and a conflict resolution framework to tackle the growing epidemic of childhood trauma and community violence. As a researcher and practitioner in the field of education, his work led him to design and publish a training manual, A Principal’s Mission in Designing Trauma-Informed Care Schools. Dr. Curtis models the famous quote by Dr. Cornel West, “You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people.”

Dr. Odessa Tate, Director of Business Development, All In The Family Community Development Corporation

From her early days serving in various capacities within Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to her current role as Chief of Staff for State Representative Donna Bullock, Odessa Tate has dedicated her life to uplifting her community and advocating for positive change.

Rooted in a legacy of community activism, Odessa was born into a family renowned for their unwavering service throughout the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia. This legacy is epitomized by All In The Family, an organization founded in the spring of 1995, which Odessa has chosen to continue and expand upon.

Drawing inspiration from her upbringing and family values, Odessa has spearheaded efforts to broaden the impact of All In The Family, particularly in the realms of community and housing development. With a keen focus on addressing the pressing needs of her community, she is currently leading the development of two housing projects aimed at providing safe and affordable housing options for residents. Through her tireless dedication and vision, Odessa exemplifies a commitment to building a stronger, more vibrant community in the Village section of Strawberry Mansion. Her work stands as a testament to the power of collective action and the enduring legacy of service and advocacy.

Christopher Waiters, Chief Program Officer, Northeast Treatment Centers

Christopher Waiters is the Chief Program Officer of Social Services at Northeast Treatment Centers (NET). In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Community Umbrella Agency (CUA), and Community-Based prevention services for the Northeast Treatment Centers. He is also the Executive Director of NET Community Care (NCC), Inc.

Waiters was born and raised in Northcentral Philadelphia, attending all K-12 years in public schools. He considers himself fortunate to have attended these schools. Over the years, he has observed both positive changes and challenges in the local community. This experience has inspired him to dedicate his life to service of the disadvantaged and underserved.

Recently, Waiters experienced a profound loss. His 17-year-old nephew was tragically killed in gun violence in broad daylight. This incident has become a significant catalyst for him, personally and for the agency. Combating gun-violence has become a more central focus for both Waiters and NET, and the agency is committed to being actively involved in efforts to prevent further loss of life. With a background rooted in service, Waiters brings a unique perspective to his role at NET. His passion for making a difference and his commitment to improving the lives of individuals and communities make him a valuable asset to the organization.

Ericka Gaines, Director of Communities That Care and Prevention, Central Division of Victim Services

Ericka Gaines is a seasoned professional with an unwavering dedication to community empowerment. With over 25 years of leadership experience, a background in human services and systems theory, Ericka holds the pivotal role of Director of Communities That Care (CTC) and Prevention at Central Division Victim Services (CDVS).

Throughout her illustrious career, Ericka has consistently championed safety, well-being, and resilience within communities. Her visionary leadership at CDVS has been instrumental in spearheading impactful prevention programs and support services, aimed at addressing the root causes of crime and victimization. Ericka’s expertise lies in crafting innovative strategies to engage community stakeholders in collaborative efforts, aimed at cultivating safer and healthier environments. Renowned for her compassionate approach, Ericka works with individuals and families impacted by trauma, providing them with the resources and support they need to heal and thrive. Under Ericka’s guidance, initiatives such as the 37th Ward CTC Coalition and the PATH(Positive Alternatives for Trauma & Healing) program have flourished, serving as beacons of hope in North Philadelphia.

Ericka’s commitment to excellence in her field has garnered recognition, including the prestigious Women of Lincoln award in 2019, which honored her as a distinguished alumna of Lincoln University, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Human Services.

Andrew Williams Sr., Trauma Victim Advocate, Temple University

Andrew Williams has worked in Social Work for almost 30 years. He graduated from Cheyney University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Andrew Williams has dedicated his life to being an agent of social change. While working for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services, he created two programs: Boys T.R.A.C.K. and B.E.A.M Program, both of these programs were centered around prevention and positive youth development. In 2023, he co-founded Inspiring Emotional Intelligence and Community Excellence. Under this umbrella program, he serves young boys both delinquent & community youth in Philadelphia and provides them with mentoring and life skills. For more than ten years, Andrew has also worked with incarcerated fathers, providing them with group counseling and fellowship. Lastly, Andrew is currently embarking on a new endeavor working at Temple University as a Trauma Victim Advocate.


We thank our partners at CeasefirePA for co-sponsoring our conference!


Brady's Combating Crime Guns Initiative is reducing gun violence and addressing racial injustice on the most impacted communities by stopping the flow of crime guns.

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