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University of Dayton forum on six-month anniversary of Dayton shooting to address gun violence, gun laws

The University of Dayton Human Rights Center and UD Center for Social Concern will hold an event to memorialize victims of gun violence and discuss how gun violence threatens human rights from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 1401 S. Main St.

"On the six-month anniversary of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, we want to bring the entire community together to memorialize the victims of those two shootings as well as all victims of gun violence," said Shelley Inglis, executive director of the UD Human Rights Center. "We also want to raise awareness of the risks to human rights posed by gun violence, discuss state and national laws dealing with gun violence, and foster discussion of future steps we all can take to end gun violence."

Supported by the Human Rights Center's Endowment for Education in Non-Violence, the forum's first session, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., will be geared to UD faculty, staff and students and will address how gun violence is a human rights issue, El Paso's response to the intentional targeting of Latino men and women in that city's mass shooting, and the current status of gun violence in the courts and legislation in Ohio and nationwide. Speakers include Barbara Frey, senior lecturer in the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota and former U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights violations committed with small arms and light weapons;  Christina Garcia, director of the crime victims program at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas; and Jeff Schmitt, University of Dayton associate professor of law.

The second session, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. will feature Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, State Sen. Peggy Lehner, former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl, Artemis Center Executive Director Jane Keiffer, YWCA Dayton Advocacy Manager Sarah Wolf-Knight, Dayton Children's Hospital pediatrician Nora Vish, and former Ohio senator and President of the Ohio Conference of Units of the NAACP Tom Roberts. The session also will include a presentation by Jared Grandy of Dayton’s Human Relations Council on the Greater Dayton Safety Planning Commission's public health approach to gun violence.

Between sessions, there will be a free public information and advocacy fair where local groups working to combat gun violence will share how the community can be more involved in their efforts.

The evening will end with a vigil and brief performance by the University's Common Good Players, memorializing the victims of the mass shooting in the Oregon District. The Common Good Players are a performing arts scholarship program that uses performance to engage organizations during orientations, seminars and trainings on major social issues like diversity and equity.

Light refreshments will be available.

For more information, contact the Human Rights Center at 937-229-3294 or the Center for Social Concern at 937-229-2524.

For advance interviews, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or, or Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or


News and Communications Staff