FAU Hosts 2019 Violence Summit

Violence Summit 2019

From left to right, Sara Dochterman, assistant director of the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work; Naelys Luna, Ph.D., director of the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work; Randy Blakely, Ph.D., executive director of FAU’s Brain Institute, and a professor of biomedical science in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine; Linda Laviano; Jeremy Richman, Ph.D.; and Joy McClellan, instructor and program coordinator for the Master of Social Work. (Photo by Alex Dolce)

By brittany sylvestri | 3/20/2019

Florida Atlantic University’s Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work within the College for Design and Social Inquiry in partnership with FAU’s Brain Institute, FAU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and the Palm Health Foundation recently hosted the 2019 Violence Summit, a series of workshops discussing violence from different perspectives. 

 “This event is an important step as we work together to tackle the complex issue of violence and to create a community where diversity is not only embraced – but celebrated,” said Naelys Luna, Ph.D., director of the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work.

The keynote speaker of the event was Jeremy Richman, Ph.D., a neuro-pharmacologist and CEO of the Avielle Foundation. Richman’s daughter, Avielle, was murdered in her first-grade classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. In response, Richman and his wife started the Avielle Foundation, which is committed to preventing violence and building compassion through brain health research, community engagement and education.

Richman’s talk, “The Neuroscience of Being Human(e),” examined recent brain research that provides insights that can help everyday citizens to identify the signs and symptoms of someone troubled or in crisis, to responsibly advocate for those at risk of violence to themselves or to others, and, most importantly, to foster kind, healthy and compassionate individuals and communities.

Other speakers included: Linda Laviano, victim witness counselor for the Office of the State Attorney, 17thCircuit in Broward County; Frank De La Torre, retired chief assistant public defender for the Broward County Public Defender’s Office; and Brandy Macaluso, chief programming officer for the Coalition for Independent Living Options.

For more information on the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, visit cdsi.fau.edu/ssw/.