2023 E.R. Brown Symposium: Addressing Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic

"2023 E.R. Brown Symposium: Addressing Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic: February 13, 2023     "


Monday, Feb. 13, 2023
Add to Calendar


10:00 AM - 02:00 PM PST



2023 E.R. Brown Symposium: Addressing Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research hosted the 2023 E.R. Brown Symposium: Addressing Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic on Monday, February 13, 2023, on Zoom.

The symposium brought together an outstanding group of researchers, advocates, community leaders, and policymakers working to understand and stem gun violence, and sharing new research and perspectives to inform policy and programs to increase public safety.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta provided the keynote address and shared his vision for how policy can make a difference in the state.


Featured panelists and speakers included: ​

  • Joan Asarnow, Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Kerith Conron, Research Director, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
  • Christian Heyne, Gun violence survivor and Vice President of Policy and Programs, Brady Chris Knoepke, Assistant Professor, Research, University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, Assistant Professor, Violence Prevention Research Program, UC Davis
  • Brian Malte, Executive Director, Hope and Heal Fund
  • Julie Nagasako, Deputy Director, Office of Policy and Planning, California Department of Public Health
  • Mark A. Peterson, Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Public Policy, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Jesenia Pizarro, Editor, Homicide Studies, and Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University
  • Fernando Rejón, Executive Director, Urban Peace Institute
  • Refujio “Cuco” Rodriguez, Chief Equity and Program Officer, Hope and Heal Fund
  • Michael Rodriguez, Director, California Alliance of Academics and Communities for Public Health Equity
  • George Tita, Professor, Criminology, Law, and Society, UC Irvine Andrea Welsing, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention

Ninez Ponce, UCLA CHPR director and chair of the Health Policy and Management Department at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, provided opening and closing remarks and moderated the event.

The E.R. Brown Symposium, named after UCLA CHPR founder E. Richard "Rick" Brown, is an annual event that honors the life of Rick Brown, who spent his life advocating strongly for a health-care-for-all system that would ensure health services for every Californian.


Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP
Director, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP, is director of UCLA CHPR and a professor in the UCLA FSPH. She leads the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) and champions better data on communities of color, better care for overlooked groups, and more.
Mark Peterson, PhD
Senior Fellow
Mark A. Peterson, PhD, is a senior fellow at UCLA CHPR and professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs. He specializes in American national institutions and the policy process.
Michael Rodríguez, MD, MPH
Faculty Associate, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Michael A. Rodríguez, MD, MPH, is a UCLA CHPR faculty associate and the executive director of the California Alliance of Academics and Communities for Public Health Equity. His research focuses on health equity, immigrant health, gun violence prevention, and more.
Rob Bonta
Joan Asarnow
Kerith Conron, ScD, MPH

Kerith J. Conron, ScD, MPH, is the Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute. She is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist whose work focuses on documenting and reducing inequities that impact sexual and gender minority populations. She is committed to altering the landscape of adversity and opportunity for LGBTQ communities, particularly through collaboration.

Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz
Jesenia Pizarro
George E. Tita, PhD
Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, University of California – Irvine
Christian Heyne
Andrew Welsing
Chris Knoepke
Fernando Rejón
Brian Malte
Julie Nagasako
Refujio “Cuco” Rodriguez