Annual Community Forum


 Since 2014, Grandparents for Gun Safety has hosted an annual Community Forum to educate the public about gun violence and promote ways to reduce it. These Forums are co-sponsored with a Coalition of like-minded community groups and individuals who share a deep concern about the public health epidemic of gun violence. These groups Stand With Us because they understand we can achieve more success working together rather than alone.

Nationally known keynote speakers have included Leonard Pitts, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist; Nicole Hockley, founder of Sandy Hook Promise, mother of 6-year-old son Dylan, a Sandy Hook victim, and Candace Lightner, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). During the pandemic, Forums were virtual and focused on strategies to curb this ongoing crisis.

We’re grateful to our organization and individual partners.

Our nine Community Forums have concentrated on a wide range of gun-related problems and their possible solutions. Check this website in the Spring for more information as it becomes available for our 10th anniversary Forum to be held Monday October 9, 2023.

2022 – ADVOCACY: The time is NOW!
With the public at a tipping point in its concern about gun violence, the Forum focused on ways to successfully advocate for change. Keynote speaker was Connecticut attorney Josh Koskoff who won a landmark $73 million settlement from Remington for nine Sandy Hook families who sued the manufacturer of the AK-15 assault rifle used in the mass shooting.

The link to this Forum is here
Passcode: K0Z!U2=k

2021 – Gun Violence. Strategies to Curb This Public Health Epidemic

Our second virtual Forum featured keynote speaker Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, a nationally recognized epidemiologist and advocate for gun violence prevention. She was joined by local community leaders explaining their strategies to improve homelessness, unemployment, early childhood education and living environments. Over 185 people attended via Zoom.

The link to this Forum is here
Passcode: FZiE20D$

2020 – Gun Violence. Going Beyond Thoughts and Prayers

Our first ever virtual Forum featured leaders in the Faith, Business and Government communities sharing their current actions and plans for the future. More than 225 people attended this Zoom webinar.

The link to this Forum is here
Passcode: AXdY0jm?

2019 – Gun Violence. Insights From Both Ends of the Gun

The Forum featured keynote speakers Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix and was attended by more than 280 people.

2018 – Gun Violence. Changing the Conversation

The Forum was attended by 250 participants and featured keynote speaker Candace Lightner, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

2017 – Gun Violence. Keeping Our Children Safe

The Forum was attended by over 200 participants and featured keynote speaker is Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan Hockley, who was killed at Sandy Hook.

2016 – Gun Violence. The Culture of Fear

For the first time, the Forum featured a nationally known keynote speaker: Leonard Pitts, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist syndicated in newspapers across the country including the Kansas City Star. The Forum was attended by more than 190 people.

2015 – Gun Violence. A public health issue

Rex Archer, M.D., Director of the Kansas City Department of Health was the keynote speaker. He was one of the earliest proponents of referring to gun violence as a public health issue. The Forum was attended by 165+ people.

2014 – Gun Violence. We need to understand it

Missouri State Representative, Stacey Newman, of St. Louis and Kansas City Mayor Sly James spoke. Both viewed this as a crucial step to address gun violence before many others understood its importance. This first Forum was attended by 140 people.