Iowa Ideas
Iowa Ideas

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Safe communities expert to keynote Gazette's Iowa Ideas Conference in October

David Kennedy to talk about reducing violence, strengthening relationships

Sep 10, 2020 at 5:45 pm
    David Kennedy National Network for Safe Communities

    David Kennedy, in an August New Yorker magazine article, proposed what he deemed as a new way to prevent community violence — by reaching out to “small numbers of individuals at the highest risk.”

    That way, said Kennedy, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor and author, the nation could reduce gun violence “in half ... without doing the damage of traditional policing.”

    Kennedy, executive director and co-founder of the National Network for Safe Communities — a John Jay College research center at City University of New York — will discuss those ideas as The Gazette’s Iowa Ideas Conference as its closing-day keynote speaker, on Oct. 16.

    He will address the network’s history and work and the impact it can have on a community — regardless of that community’s size.

    In that same vein, Laurie Owen, National Network Group Violence Intervention associate director, and Paul Smith, the network’s reconciliation director, will participate in a panel on group violence intervention at this year’s conference.

    Owen and Smith will discuss how the program developed and how attendees can use some of its concepts in their communities.

    The conference’s Oct. 15 keynote will be Carson King, University of Iowa football fan turned philanthropist.

    King, now president of the Carson King Foundation, has brought in more than $100,000 for a variety of causes in the first year of his not-for-profit.

    In its fourth year, the Iowa Ideas Conference gathers leaders and industry experts from across the state to discuss its important issues.

    In response to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s conference will be online and free of charge. Information about the conference and registration can be viewed at

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