In the face of a powerful narrative that promotes the idea that “guns don’t kill, people do,” gun violence prevention advocates continually find themselves on the defensive. Continuing a dialogue that began at the recent APHA Annual Meeting and Expo, this session will:
- Examine the power of narrative as a tool of social change;
- Review the existing narrative on gun violence;
- And discuss how a new narrative on gun violence could provide the public health community with more effective messaging to drive changes in behavior, social norms, and systems/policies.
- Identify the core components of narrative.
- Explain how the current narrative on gun violence is hampering efforts to promote changes in awareness, behavior and policy that are consistent with prevention.
- Describe the steps needed to develop and advance a more effective narrative about gun violence and its prevention.
Kevin T. Kirkpatrick, BA, MS
Karen Saverino, BA
Linda DeGutis, DrPH, MSN
- Kevin T. Kirkpatrick has been applying his expertise in communication to promote public health outcomes for more than 20 years. A principal at Metropolitan Group, Kevin provides strategic counsel to a wide range of public agencies, nonprofits, foundations and others. He is the author of two articles in Stanford Social Innovation Review specifically focused on the gun violence narrative and co-presented at the 2018 APHA Annual Meeting on this subject.
- Karen L. Saverino is an executive vice president at Metropolitan Group, a company that provides strategic and creative services to social purpose organizations. A former reporter and advocate for the power of storytelling, Karen has been helping organizations research and shape messages and engage stakeholders through grassroots efforts and public will-building campaigns for 25 years. She recently co-presented at the 2018 APHA Annual Meeting on the topic of gun violence narrative.
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