2017 Violence Prevention Conference


Fostering Healthy Communities by Addressing Family and Community Trauma

May 8 & 9, 2017

The California Endowment
Los Angeles, CA

Registration Cost: $25o

Register Online

“In effect, we human beings act together because the meaning of our lives springs from our relationship with others.”  (Febres, 2011)

VPC is peace building! We invite you to our 2017 Annual Violence Prevention Conference:  “Clearing Pathways to Healing and Wellness: Fostering Healthy Communities by Addressing Family and Community Trauma“. We are envisioning peaceful homes and communities, and we are Clearing Pathways to Healing and Wellness for those who seek to understand the effects of trauma and violence and want to explore innovative ways of engaging communities about the reality of people’s experiences with violence.  Trauma is experienced both on an individual level, like an injury or bruise, and on a collective level, where trauma affects a system of people and is socially produced and maintained.  Addressing trauma requires acknowledging societal factors that allow trauma to persist and treating its root causes.

Our 2017 conference will focus on identifying and bringing forth solutions that improve the quality of care for individuals and their families.  We look forward to highlighting promising practices that help service providers build their capacity to serve families represented in social systems through education, expanding networks, engaged listening, facilitating dialogue, and encouraging solution-oriented conversation.

Our charge at this year’s conference is to become better listeners and better facilitators, and to encourage dialogue and conversations that ensure communities are heard.  We seek solutions that are culturally relevant and responsive to individuals, families, and the greater Los Angeles County.  We seek to unite people to work together to solve social problems and make the world a better place.

Confirmed Conference Speakers

Susan Burton is a CNN Hero, a Starbucks “Upstander,” a Soros Justice Fellow, a winner of Harvard’s Citizen Activist Award, founder of the internationally-recognized non-profit A New Way of Life, and someone that Michelle Alexander has compared to Harriet Tubman. She is also one of the millions of American women who have been incarcerated—in her case over 15 years—for non-violent offenses.
Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. During his tenure at The California Endowment, the foundation has focused on the health needs of underserved Californians by championing the cause of health coverage for all children, reducing childhood obesity, strengthening the capacity of community health centers, improving health services for farm worker and ex‐offender populations, and strengthening the pipeline for bringing racial and ethnic diversity to the health professions.
Avis Ridley-Thomas founded the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Dispute Resolution Program in 1989, and served as Director until retiring in March 2011. Under her leadership, the program grew from four staff members to include over 2,000 volunteer conciliators, mediators, trainers, facilitators and peacemakers who handled thousands of disputes annually. Ridley-Thomas now serves Co-Director of the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles and Days of Dialogue.
Dawnn Lewis is a multitalented and multifaceted individual: a Grammy Award-winning singer, multiple ASCAP & BMI Award-winning songwriter, film actor (I'm Gonna Get U Sucka, Dreamgirls) and a Series TV creator/producer (Black JAQ) for ABC & can now be seen recurring on the hit TV shows (Major Crimes & Better Call Saul).

Confirmed Conference Panels & Workshops

  • Using a Restorative and Trauma-Informed Lens towards the Criminalization of Youth Behavior
  • Universal Paths of Healing: Building Community Resilience
  • A Systemic Approach to Empowering Communities using Restorative Practices
  • One Foot In, One Foot Out: Transitional Narratives from Crime and Incarceration to College
  • Making Connections for Mental Health and Well-Being Among Men and Boys
  • The South Central Training Consortium: model and case presentations
  • TRIUMPH: Moving beyond trauma to build resilience
  • The Community Resiliency Model: Adversity is not Destiny
  • A New Cannabis Industry: Drug War Reparations & Healing Trauma
  • Self-Care in the Wake of Trauma
  • Dance and Dialogue
  • Trauma-Informed Yoga as a Treatment Modality for Health and Recovery

Who Should Attend

  • VPC Members
  • Behavioral & mental health providers
  • Educators
  • Researchers
  • Local, State and Federal government employees
  • Students (all ages)
  • Domestic violence, sexual assault and human/sex trafficking advocates
  • Violence interrupters/Interventionists
  • Child and youth development specialists
  • Legal advocates
  • Public health advocates
  • Law enforcement
  • Anti-gun violence advocates
  • Immigration advocates
  • Policymakers
  • Journalists and media
  • Civil and human rights advocates
  • International NGOs
  • Business community
  • Foundations
  • And you!


Founded in 1991, the VPC was established in response to the escalating epidemic of fatal violence in Los Angeles County.  Looking at the ongoing epidemic of violence, the VPC came together organically, acknowledging that a coalition of many diverse organizations and individuals have greater power to effect change than individuals and organizations operating in silos.  VPC is a network of public and private organizations and individuals dedicated to preventing and reducing violence, and the corresponding injuries and disabilities caused by violence, using public health methodology and models. Coalition members come from community organizations such as domestic violence shelters and programs, gang intervention and prevention programs, rape crisis centers, law enforcement, the arts, after school programs, parenting and conflict resolution organizations, the media, the judicial system, children of incarcerated parents, schools, gun violence prevention programs, policy makers and many others. The VPC has been recognized for its work by the American Public Health Association and the Safe States Alliance for its collaboration with national partners to effect changes in violence prevention efforts at the local, state and federal levels.  Throughout our more than 25 year history, the VPC has worked mindfully to achieve community change through our mission—to unify and strengthen voices of member organizations and individuals committed to ending the epidemic of violence by providing education, resources, and policy advocacy.

Our 2017 vision is to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and to develop and nurture the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference.

Register Now

2017 Conference Advisory Committee

Randal Henry, DrPH, MPH – Committee Chair
Community Intelligence

Detective Mike Bland

Paula Bond
First Option Entertainment

Kristin Bray

Nason Buchanon
L.A. City GRYD Program

Chris Finney
Flintridge Center

Jewel Forbes
L.A. County Office of Education

Sidra Gifford
L.A. County Department of Mental Health

Patrice McKenzie

Tara Peterson
Glendale YWCA

Eve Sheedy
Office of LA City Attorney

Verónica Vargas
VV Strategic Consulting, LLC

George Weaver
Brotherhood Crusade

Robert D. Weide, PhD
Cal State LA Department of Sociology