Trinity Joins Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence

Trinity Joins Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence

Washington, DC-area Universities Unite to Address Gun Violence Through Research-based Recommendations for Action

Trinity joins Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area to launch bold initiative

Washington, D.C., July 13, 2022 – The presidents of Washington, D.C. area universities and colleges today announced they will gather experts from their institutions to advance promising, actionable solutions to reduce gun violence in the United States. The effort, entitled The 120 Initiative, named in honor of the more than 120 people who die on average each day from gun violence, will be coordinated by the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.

America is experiencing an epidemic of gun violence, most recently witnessed in Buffalo, New York; Highland Park, Illinois; and Uvalde, Texas. According to the Gun Violence Archive, the United States has had at least 314 mass shootings since the start of 2022, and gun violence through suicide, domestic abuse, and other assaults has resulted in more than 23,500 deaths so far this year.

Trinity Washington University is actively engaged in this new initiative. Dr. Debbie Van Camp, Trinity’s Vice President for Assessment and Academic Success, and Dr. Jenn Hauver, Dean of Trinity’s School of Education, are among the experts who are taking a leadership role in finding solutions.

Trinity’s President Pat McGuire is a strong, longtime advocate of addressing gun violence. Her May 2022 Commencement remarks focused on the violence across the country: “Enough with thoughts and prayers, enough with the silences and equivocations. … Our degrees demand that we pay attention to what is happening in this world.  We cannot possibly look the other way, or stand aside as bystanders, curious observers unmoved by the daily headlines and images … What are we called to do? The price of our education is the demand that we use our intellectual power to oppose, resist, confront and supplant the forces that are destroying so many lives. Our education imposes a moral and ethical obligation to speak out to confront the lies that are warping communities and fueling murderous rampages. Having spoken out, we must work tirelessly to construct a system of laws and policies that protect and honor all human lives, that ensure justice and freedom for all; that will make it possible, someday, for the United States and its towns and communities to live in peace and safety once more.”

Consortium members are dedicated to lead on developing nimble, substantive, and actionable solutions to this complex issue. The 120 Initiative will engage subject-matter experts in a wide range of areas, such as gun violence, public and mental health, polarization, business sector engagement, citizen advocacy, education, and technology. After analysis of available research, in approximately six months The 120 Initiative will share a series of evidence-based recommendations that provide all sectors practical, tangible steps they can take, individually and collectively, to drive down gun violence. Time is of the essence.

“Our region arguably has the widest variety of public, private, and government expertise and Consortium universities and colleges are established leaders at the intersection of research, practice and policy, especially on national issues,” said Dr. Andrew Flagel, President and CEO of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. “The 120 Initiative will collectively leverage our expertise to spur substantive progress on behalf of the nation and the more than 400,000 students in Consortium institutions.”

In launching this effort, Dr. Darryll Pines, President of University of Maryland, stated, “Today, we add university presidents to the call for change. Why? Because guns are now the leading cause of death for young people, and we are charged with shaping young minds to tackle the grand challenges of our time. Because we lead communities that are deeply affected by the mass slaughter of citizens, and some weeks it feels like the flags at our public institutions fly ceaselessly at half-staff. And because universities are often the source of change and progress.”

“We are encouraged by political leaders at all levels and in all parties continuing to collaborate to make meaningful progress on reducing gun violence in America,” said Dr. Gregory Washington, President of George Mason University. “At the same time, President Pines and I proposed this initiative because we know that there are a host of non-political solutions that are desperately needed if we hope to change the tragic and escalating epidemic of gun violence.”

Consortium institutions participating in The 120 Initiative:

  • American University
  • The Catholic University of America
  • Gallaudet University
  • George Mason University
  • Georgetown University
  • The George Washington University
  • Howard University
  • Marymount University
  • Montgomery College
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Prince George’s Community College
  • Trinity Washington University
  • University of the District of Columbia
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Maryland Global Campus

Affiliate members:

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Virginia Tech

Trinity media contact: Ann Pauley,

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