The Rev. Shannon Daley-Harris, senior religious advisor to the Children’s Defense Fund, will be the first speaker in a free lecture series on gun violence and firearms safety at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at The Unitarian Church in Summit, 4 Waldron Ave (at Springfield Ave.) in Summit.
Daley-Harris, a children's advocate and ordained Presbyterian minister, will speak on the topic “Protect Our Children from Gun Violence.” The public is cordially invited to all three programs in the series, Prevent Gun Violence: Knowledge & Action. Light refreshments will be served. All the programs begin at 1 p.m.
A strong champion for children, Daley-Harris will base her talk on the Children’s Defense Fund’s comprehensive publication, “Protect Children, Not Guns,” a compilation of the most recent and reliable statistics on firearm deaths. The 70-page report also evaluates common myths about guns and outlines legislative developments since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A resident of Princeton and Washington, DC, Daley-Harris has served with the Children’s Defense Fund for more than 24 years. She has written dozens of publications on ending child poverty and has developed devotional materials for children. In 1992, she created the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths, an innovative program that brings together Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahá’í and other faith communities, asking each to follow their own tradition’s call in promoting justice and compassion for children in need.
Daley-Harris earned her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her master’s in divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. In her first job, she taught at a Trenton school for children with learning disabilities. She later moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she tutored children and adults affected by the ongoing Irish war known as the Troubles.
The Summit lecture series continues April 27, with “Understand Guns and Firearms Safety.” Speakers will be Robert Tessaro, former director of Law Enforcement Relations at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and George Faison, partner at the DeBragga gourmet butcher shop, a hunter and a member of The Unitarian Church in Summit.
On May 18, two speakers will address “Legislation on Firearms Safety, Then & Now, Federal & State.” They are Nicola Bocour, director of Ceasefire NJ, a project of the Coalition for Peace Action, and Diane Finn, liaison for the prevention of gun violence for the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey (UULMNJ). Finn will address ways that congregations can take action to prevent gun violence." The UULMNJ is a joint effort by New Jersey’s UU congregations to advocate for socially just public policy on a non-partisan basis.
The Unitarian Church in Summit draws members from various religious and cultural backgrounds who join together in their individual quests for truth and meaning. Its mission is to be a radically inclusive religious community that feeds the human spirit and heals the world. There is no creed or test of membership, but the community is bound together by principles, shared values and a desire to serve. We are a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.
For further information about the lectures, email to PreventGunViolence2013@gmail.com.