Hosted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the 2023 E.R. Brown Symposium, “Addressing Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic” will bring a group of experts together virtually to share various perspectives, insight and research with the goal of ending gun violence. The discussion will be an opportunity for speakers to propose new policies and programs aimed at increasing public safety in California.


Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. PT
(The main discussion will be followed by a student session fom 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. PT.)


The discussion will take place on Zoom. Register here.


  • Rob Bonta, Attorney General, California (keynote speaker)
  • Ninez Ponce, Director, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
  • Christian Heyne, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Brady
  • Julie Nagasako, Deputy Director, Office of Policy and Planning, California Department of Public Health
  • Andrea Welsing, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Office of
    Violence Prevention
  • Brian Malte, Executive Director, Hope and Heal Fund
  • Refujio “Cuco” Rodriguez, Chief Equity and Program Officer, Hope and
    Heal Fund
  • Fernando Rejon, Executive Director, Urban Peace Institute
  • Kanwarpal Dhaliwal, Co-Founder and Associate Director, RYSE
  • Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, Assistant Professor, Violence Prevention
    Research Program, UC Davis
  • Joan Asarnow, Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences,
    David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
  • Kerith Conron, Research Director, Williams Institute, UCLA School of
  • Chris Knoepke, Assistant Professor, Research, University of Colorado,
    Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Jesenia Pizarro, Editor, Homicide Studies, Professor, School of
    Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University
  • George Tita, Professor, Criminology, Law, and Society, UC Irvine


Despite the strictest gun laws in the nation, California continues to be plagued by gun violence — from the recent mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, to the ongoing intimate partner violence, suicides, unintentional shootings, homicides, and other senseless gun-related crimes across the country.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) will bring experts from across the country together, working to understand and stem gun violence. Researchers will share findings from the 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) on gun safety and public fears over gun violence and community organizations and other leaders will discuss some of the frontline work happening here in California and across the nation. Event speakers will discuss the importance of addressing gun violence as a public health epidemic, policy changes and solutions, with the goal of ending gun violence.

The E.R Brown Symposium, named after UCLA Center for Health Policy Research 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.


 For interviews or additional information, please contact Vanessa Villafuerte at or 310-794-0975.