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The Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University presents Guns Don't Kill People, The Media Kills People with John Rosenthal andCharlton McIlwain; moderated by Edward Powell. Thursday, March 21, 6:30-8:00 pm. Admission is free and open to all. Suffolk University Law School, McLaughlin Moot Court Room, 120 Tremont St., Boston. Wheelchair accessible and conveniently located near the Park St. MBTA Station. For more information, contact Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University: 617-557-2007www.fordhallforum.org.


The media shapes how we see things, even when we know the truth is otherwise. After all, why is the national conversation on guns framed as "pro-gun vs. anti-gun" despite most of our perspectives being much more nuanced? Moderator Edward Powell (Executive Director, The Boston Foundation's StreetSafe Boston) shines a spotlight on how the media's distortion of reality exacerbates gun violence. He speaks with John Rosenthal (gun owner and founder/Chairman of Stop Handgun Violence) and Charlton McIlwain (Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU Steinhardt) to identify how TV, internet, and newspaper reporting paints an inaccurate picture of guns' effects on communities of color and engages in fear-mongering that fails to prevent further tragedies.

Further background information on the participants:

Charlton McIlwain is an Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University at Steinhardt. His research interests focus broadly on issues of race and media, particularly within the social and political arena. McIlwain co-authored/edited the books Race Appealand The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity. His other scholarly works have appeared in the International Journal of Press/PoliticsAmerican Behavioral Scientist, Communication Quarterly, and many more. Currently, he is researching individuals' cognitive and physiological responses to race-based messages in political ads. McIlwain is also exploring how people use digital media to influence both the discourse and political work surrounding racial equality and equal opportunity. Additionally, he recently launched a new site, KidsOnColor.com, a forum for exchanging childhood stories about racial awareness.

Edward M. Powell 
is the executive director of StreetSafe Boston, bringing 20 years of experience in the private, not-for-profit, and government sectors to StreetSafe’s mission of transforming Boston’s toughest youth in an effort to make city neighborhoods safe. Powell comes to StreetSafe Boston from the Boston Private Industry Council, one of the nation’s premier public-private partnerships that connects business, the Boston Public Schools, higher education, government, labor, and community organizations to create innovative workforce and education solutions. A decade ago, he co-founded the All For One AAU Basketball program where he served as an assistant coach and oversaw the academic component of the program. Powell now serves on the board of the Manny Wilson Developmental Basketball League at the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club which receives academic support through an educational component implemented by Powell.

In 1995, gun-owner and recreational Trap Shooter John Rosenthal founded Stop Handgun Violence, an organization known for its giant billboard along the Mass Turnpike near Fenway Park. Their billboard campaign communicates the extent of the national gun violence problem as well as practical solutions. In 2005, Rosenthal co-founded a membership organization called American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA). AHSA is an alternative membership organization to the NRA for moderate gun owners who care about gun rights as well as gun safety, conservation and wildlife habitat, and support for law enforcement. John Rosenthal is also the President of Meredith Management (real estate development) and the founder of Friends of Boston’s Homeless.

Coming up next in Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University’s Spring Series:

Whose Choice Is Death?
Guy Maytal
, M.D. (Associate Director of Ambulatory Psychiatry, MGH) and Marcia Angell, M.D. (Senior Lecturer in Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School);
moderated by Jack Wrobel (Vice President, Ford Hall Forum).
Thursday, April 18, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Main Function Room, Suffolk Law School

With the vote on the physician-assisted suicide initiative coming down to a slim margin this past November, voters of Massachusetts appear torn. Is this dignity or playing God? Mercy or giving up too soon? Does it give people who are suffering a way to control their own destinies, or people with hidden agendas a way to do away with the vulnerable? And how soon will this issue arise again in our state? Jack Wrobel, Ford Hall Forum Vice President, moderates a debate that elucidates the issue from each side. Marcia Angell, M.D. (supporter for “Prescribing Medication to End Life” initiative) and Guy Maytal, M.D. (opponent to “Prescribing Medication to End Life” initiative) discuss facts, feelings, and unintended effects while the audience decides for themselves whether physician-assisted suicide should ever be Massachusetts law.

About Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University:

Ford Hall Forum is the nation's oldest free public lecture series. The Forum provides an open venue for sharing opinions and discussing controversial points of view. It advances the First Amendment through freedom of expression, encouraging attendees to engage directly with speakers. Ford Hall Forum discussions illuminate the key issues facing our society by bringing to its podium knowledgeable and thought-provoking orators from a broad range of perspectives. These experts participate for free, and in settings that promote a culture of involvement in a non-partisan environment.

The Forum began in 1908 as a series of Sunday evening public meetings held at the Ford Hall, which once stood on Beacon Hill in Boston. While the original building no longer exists, the public conversations have continued throughout the Boston area with the generous support from state agencies, foundations, corporations, academic institutions, and individuals. In its 104th year of programming, the Forum continues to build upon its partnership with Suffolk University. Suffolk is now housing the Forum's administrative offices just a block away from where the original Ford Hall once stood.

Ford Hall Forum programs are made possible through the generous contributions from individual members as well as corporations and foundations, including American International Group (AIG), AMES Hotel, Broadway Video, Compass Eight, The Fred & Marty Corneel Fund, Gray Media, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, Helen Rees Literary Agency, Iron Mountain, Jackson & Company, LCMG Certified Public Accountants, The Lowell Institute, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Penny Pimentel, The Pfizer Foundation, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, Prince Lobel & Tye, Saturday Night Live, Suffolk University, True North,  and WBUR 90.9 FM.

For more information on Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, visit www.fordhallforum.org. Information about Suffolk University’s partnership with the Ford Hall Forum can be obtained by contacting Mariellen Norris, (617) 573-8450mnorris@suffolk.edu.

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