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Webinar: Gun Violence and Mental Health

May 3, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

In the last few years, gun violence has increased at an alarming rate and has impacted our communities greatly. For Mental Health Awareness Month 2023, this conversation will focus on the intersection of gun violence, trauma, ways that we can respond to gun violence, and ways to care for our mental health and the mental health of our communities.


Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Hord Owens is the first person of color and second woman to lead the denomination. Since her election in 2017, Rev. Hord Owens’ ministry actively reflects the Disciples’ priority of being an anti-racist church, being a movement for wholeness, welcoming all to the Lord’s table as God has welcomed us. Her exhortation to the church is “Let’s be the church we say we are. It is in being who we say we are that we actively bear witness to God’s limitless love for all.” In addition to collaborative service with the ministries that comprise Disciples Justice Ministries, she has been active in leadership in the Poor People’s Campaign, and other ecumenical and interfaith collaboratives, including the Faith Table. In keeping with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, she serves in leadership at the National Council of Churches as the Treasurer of the Governing Board and a member of the World Council of Churches Central Committee. >> Learn More

Joselyn Spence, Director of Mental Health & Wellness, National Benevolent Association

Joselyn works to design and implement programs that promote holistic wellness across all NBA programs. This work is done through the creation of learning resources for clergy and community leaders, addressing the needs of pastors in a variety of ministry settings, sharing the stories that help to eliminate stigmas related to mental health and wellness. She is passionate about mental health care, holistic wellness, communal care ethics, and spirituality. As a holistic wellness specialist, she has worked at the intersection of these passions to develop research and provide empathic care to all she is called to serve. Joselyn has a wealth of experience in mental health and community care. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Art Therapist (ATR), she received advanced education and training to provide trauma-informed services to diverse groups of people of all races, backgrounds, and ages from 3 to 80. >> Learn More

Greg Jackson, Executive Director, Community Justice Action Fund

Prior to becoming the organization’s Executive Director, Greg served as the National Advocacy Director for 2 years. In this role he worked with communities, elected officials, community leaders and impacted residents to advocate for proactive and preventive solutions to end gun violence. Greg led the effort to build political power through electoral participation, spearheading the 2020 Elect Justice Campaign that mobilized over a 1,000 volunteers and connected with over 1.6 million voters across the country. As a gun violence survivor, gun violence prevention is personal for Greg. While being questioned by law enforcement in his hospital bed, Greg remembers being treated like a criminal and not like a victim. This experience and his recovery propelled Greg into action, becoming a vocal and leading voice on gun violence prevention for Black and brown communities. >> Learn More

Rev. Cheryl Briner, Co-Pastor, Fireside Christian Church, Denver, Colorado

I have worked in a variety of church and social service settings. I have been ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) since 1982. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Utah State University and a Masters of Divinity from The Iliff School of Theology. My interest in this topic grows with each catastrophic event involving violence, especially gun violence we hear about. I met survivors of the Club Q shooting and have a growing need for us as a church to make a difference in this world. >> Learn More

Raquel Farrell-Kirk, Art Therapist & Consultant

Raquel Farrell-Kirk is a board-certified art therapist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and Art Therapy. Raquel has been a direct provider of art therapy services for over twenty years, working in settings ranging from schools and hospitals to therapeutic programs and private practice. 

In recent years one of the main areas of focus for Farrell-Kirk’s work has been providing art therapy programming to communities, often as part of community support in the wake of traumas. She was the lead art therapist at the Coral Springs Museum of Art’s various Art for Healing programs, including those developed in the wake of the school shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. She subsequently became the lead mental health professional for the Power of Art, a public art and art therapy partnership throughout the cities of Coral Springs and Parkland that was awarded a $1M grant by Bloomberg Philanthropies. She served the community for more than two years, supporting recovery after the school shooting and continuing art therapy support well into the pandemic.

Farrell-Kirk is a former president of the Florida Art Therapy Association and is currently serving her second term as Secretary for the American Art Therapy Association. She now resides in Jacksonville, Florida where she maintains an art therapy and consulting practice and is an active part of her local homeschool community.


May 3, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm