A Matter of Saving Lives

We had an excellent forum on November 11, 2018 at Stony Brook University. We began with a panel on mental health led by Dr. Deborah M. Weisbrot, M.D., DFAACAP, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Distinguished Fellow, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Consulting Psychiatrist, James E. Allen Elementary School and Brennan High School, Western Suffolk BOCES. Her talk entitled “Serious, Scary or Insignificant? Critical Issues in School Threat Assessment” gave insight into how to best deal with serious threats at schools. The panel included Sue Moller, high school guidance counselor & President of the Nassau Counselors Association, Sabrina Spotorno from Student Action Days at Suffolk Community College, and Avalon Fenster, student advocate and Northeast Regional Director of March for Our Lives, Long Island Chapter.

Next, we moved onto the topic of social justice reform. This panel was led by Aldustus Jordan Ed.D, Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Service Learning, Clinical Associate Professor, and former Director Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research, New York State Children’s Environmental Health Centers. Others on the panel included Inspector Michael Romagnoli, Suffolk County Police Department, Commanding Officer of the Homeland Security and Criminal Intelligence Bureau overseeing Criminal Intelligence, Emergency Management Section, and the Long Island Satellite Intelligence Center (LISIC); Joseph Bica, Stony Brook Police; Sergio Argueta, LISW, Struggling To Reunite Our New Generation (STRONG); and Dawn Lott, Esq., Executive Director, Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. We discussed the various issues that different communities face when dealing with gun violence.

Lastly, we finished with some ‘communication training’ from Elizabeth Bojsza, Assistant Professor of Practice, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. We broke into small groups and worked on a framework to help us efficiently and honestly communicate about this sensitive topic. This was the highlight of the afternoon, as people really opened up to each other and clearly articulated their concerns, as well as how to continue to discuss this issue going forward.

Event Photos




Location: Student Activities Center Suite 220 (Ballroom A) Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 11794-2800

Thanks to all the organizers and sponsors for this event: