Nicole Hockley, founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, will keynote the March 12 general meeting of the National Council of Jewish Women’s Greater New Orleans Section at the Uptown Jewish Community Center.
Her son Dylan was one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. Her talk will be “Lessons from Sandy Hook: Protecting Our Children and Preventing Gun Violence.”
In the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, Hockley began to focus on bringing people together in honest dialogue and searching for innovative solutions in the areas of mental health, school safety, community building and gun safety. She oversees SHP’s strategic direction and communications, where she works to enable social change and promote gun violence prevention.
Hockley has helped to educate and train over 2.5 million youths, teens and adults in all 50 states through the organization’s four proven “Know the Signs” programs that are offered to schools and youth and community groups at no cost. Her work has resulted in the prevention of multiple school shooting plots and gun threats, prevented several teen suicides and other violent acts throughout the country.
The Hockley family also created Dylan’s Wings of Change, a nonprofit charity to help children with autism and other related conditions to achieve their full potential, with specific programs on technology, sports and arts, and a “Wingman” program that instills leadership and fosters inclusion.
NCJW board member Victoria Coy will also speak at the event. Coy is a prominent violence prevention strategist, most recently serving as the “End Gun Violence” campaign manager for Amnesty International USA, and is the founder and director emeritus of the Louisiana Violence Reduction Coalition.
Maddie Fireman will be presented with NCJW’s Emerging Leadership Award, which pays tribute to a new member who shows great promise for future leadership. Fireman has been serving as NCJW’s State Policy Advocate since 2017.
The dinner meeting is open to the public, and reservations are $25. There will be a wine and appetizers reception at 6:30 p.m., an open board meeting at 6:45 p.m., then the buffet dinner and program at 7 p.m.
The event is underwritten in part by Linda and Richard Friedman. Co-chairs are Linda Friedman and Victoria Coy.