Gun violence has become a global human rights and public health issue that threatens the basic right to life. Gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, women and other marginalized groups in society. Armed violence and climate change are two of the root causes forcing millions of migrants and refugees to flee their homes and communities.
What are some reasonable measures that can be taken that would have immediate security implications? How do we address the underlying contributors to gun violence? How do we create a culture of gun safety?
Join our conversation on August 11 at 3pm Central as panelists Sr. Donna Liette, CPPS, a grief counselor; Leslie Washington, a gun violence survivor and advocate; and Kim Westerman, a gun violence prevention activist join host Charish Badzinski to explore this topic in depth.
August 11, 2021
3:00 PM (CST)
Sr. Donna Liette, CPPS
Sister Donna Liette, CPPS is a Sister of the Precious Blood. She currently holds the position of restorative justice practitioner and director of the women’s programs at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. Sister received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Dayton and holds a Master of Arts in Education and Supervision from New York University and a master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago in Pastoral Counseling. She spent much of her career in the field of education, both in elementary schools and in the Education Department of St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. Following many years in education, Sister Donna took on the challenge of creating and directing a residential home in Ohio for women who were leaving prison. In 2010, she joined the staff at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. She has been trained as a peacemaking circle trainer and has offered this restorative practice in Cook County Juvenile Detention Center as well as places throughout the States and in Nicaragua and Chile. Currently, Sister offers hospitality and support services to families, particularly mothers, who have lost children to violence or incarceration.
Leslie Washington is a national trainer with Everytown for Gun Safety, and survivor fellow, state survivor lead and volunteer with Moms Demand Action for gun sense. She joined the grassroots movement in 2014 while in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Leslie’s cousin Reginald died by gun suicide and her cousin Keith was murdered in December of 2015; his murder remains unsolved. A survivor of domestic violence, Leslie’s ex-husband threatened her with a firearm when she left him after nine years of domestic abuse. Today, Leslie serves as a strong advocate for survivors and those impacted by gun violence, as well as gives voice for those trapped in abusive domestic situations, too fearful to speak up lest they or their family will be harmed.
Kim Westerman is a gun violence prevention activist from St. Louis, Missouri. For the past five years, she has been an active volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the nation’s largest grassroots movement to end gun violence. She currently serves as the leader of the St. Louis group for Moms Demand Action, coordinating local efforts and volunteers and serves on their national anti-racism steering committee. Kim works full-time as the congregational communications director for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and serves as vice-chair of the board of Communicators for Women Religious. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Truman State University and a Master’s of Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her free time, Kim can be found baking, camping with her husband, and walking her two rescue dogs.