Ending gun violence

On July 20, 2012, a man entered a crowded theater in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire with multiple firearms killing 12 people, and injuring another 70. One of those murdered was Jessi Redfield Ghawi, and the untimely and gruesome death of, by all accounts, this amazing young woman forever changed the lives of her parents, Sandy and Lonnie Phillips

Little did anyone at the time know that mass shootings would go on to become an American trend, and then, an American norm and nightmare, continuing to this day. 

Already, in 2023, there have been over 40 mass shootings in the US, just in the first month of the year. 

Sandy and Lonnie went on to create Jessi's Message, a non-profit aimed at providing a "soft landing" for other survivors of mass casualty events. Jessi's Message morphed into the current nationally recognized Survivors Empowered, which is entirely run by survivors and advocates who show up immediately after mass shooting events and provide to newest survivors critical counseling, hope, hugs, instant and forever connection to a most amazing tribe of survivor-healers.


Brad Neal shares the story of his son Brandon, gun violence victim last year

On April 14 of last year (2022), Brandon Neal was shot in Venice, California, along with his girlfriend, in the home they were in the process of moving out of. The gunman has been caught, but as with Sandy and Lonnie, Brandon's father Brad Neal has had his life altered forever. 

We will bring Brad together with Sandy and Lonnie to try and wrap our heads around what has become the most macabre of epidemics in this country: gun violence. We will watch as Sandy and Lonnie do their best to sort through the grieving process Brad is going through, in an effort to humanize and understand the true nature, and devastation, that gun violence brings to too many American families. 

And then we will find out how to help stop it.