Criminal Justice Series: Examining and Preventing School Shootings

| 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Cost/fee: Free
Room Number: Terrace Room
Lawrence Street Center
1380 Lawrence Street
Denver, CO

Criminal Justice Series: “Racial Justice in Community Violence Prevention"

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

We invite you to join us for the third of four public panels to explore and address gun violence and its intersections.

The Center for Community Safety and Resilience (CCSR) in the School of Public Affairs and the Chancellor’s Office at CU Denver have partnered in their commitment to highlight gun violence in America as a racial justice issue.

According to, 93,262 people in America were victims of gun violence over a 14-year period, from 1999-2013. Black people in America are 10 times more likely to die from gun violence than white people. Black children in America have even worse outcomes: they are 14 times more likely to die from gun violence than white children. 

Please join us for this important panel discussion on root causes of gun violence, their intersection with race, and potential community-based solutions.


Dr. Erin Kelly, Director of Research and Evaluation, Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative; Research Faculty, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Dr. Erin Kelly is the Director of Research and Evaluation with the Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative and research faculty with the Injury and Violence Prevention Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She specializes in research and practice to prevent firearm-related harms, community violence, and suicide. Dr. Kelly has worked in partnership with diverse communities to understand, address, and research the systems and conditions that contribute to injury and violence in our country.


Johnnie Williams, Executive Director, GRASP 

Johnnie Williams is the Executive Director of GRASP, the Gang Rescue and Support Project, a program under the umbrella of Denver Youth Program. Johnnie joined GRASP in July of 2008 and has worked with youth for over 25 years, providing constructive alternatives to gangs and other destructive activities that result from and contribute to a cycle of hopelessness among youth. Johnnie facilitates support groups and healing circles, manages a city-wide black and brown unity council, and leads the only hospital-based violence intervention program in the Rocky Mountain West. Johnnie is a subject matter expert in crisis intervention, group facilitation, child abuse prevention, life skills training, and violence prevention, serving as a criminal justice specialist and an addictions counselor. Johnnie leverages positive youth development at the service of what he believes to be the most rewarding outcome of his work: supporting youth as they change their lives for the better, becoming the fullest version of themselves.

More To Be Announced
Keep an eye out on our website and social media for up-to-date information as we announce a diverse set of experts joining us for this First Friday


Lucy Dwight, PhD, Associate Professor, Clinical Teaching Track, University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs

Lucy Dwight's scholarly interests are drawn from her childhood in the rural South, focusing on the intersection of race and place with particular consideration of inequality, public policy and racial attitudes in the contemporary U.S. Her recent work has connected these interests to the criminal justice system. Dr. Dwight completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology at Penn State. Her undergraduate degree in public health was earned at UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to joining CU Denver, she was a member of the faculty at the University of Denver and Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. She also worked for several years in Institutional Research at CU Denver, and she has consulted with several policy organizations in the Denver area. She primarily teaches statistics and research methods and occasional courses on urban issues as well as race and public policy.
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