Meet the Speakers
Gerald D. Givens, Jr.
“I am a gun violence survivor, to include 6 of my family members [who] have died due to gun violence. When I was 8-years old, we could not attend school for two days because there was a gun fight in our neighborhood. I also served 20-years in the US Air Force. I know how insane gunfights and war really are.”
Gerald D. Givens, Jr. is the First Vice President, Raleigh-Apex Branch National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Mr. Givens serves as Chair, Communications, Press and Publicity, promoting media content consistent with fundamental NAACP goals which include the elimination of racial isolation, fear and the furtherance of multi-racial and cultural understanding.
Mr. Givens is married to Jennifer, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. They have two children – a son, Ray, who is a graduate of Jackson State University, (HBCU) Engineering; and a daughter, Meme, who is studying abroad in Australia for Industrial Design.
Dr. Aaron Wolff
"A decade after I hid in a basement, my daughter is being taught to hide in a closet. We must do better. We owe our children a life free of fear and violence."
Dr. Aaron Wolff is a veterinarian who, along with his wife, Jessica, owns and operates an animal hospital in Garner, NC. Born and raised in Virginia, he attended Virginia Tech for 8 years, where, in 2007, he was on campus for what still stands as the largest school shooting in US history. Like so many Hokies, he knew some of the victims that day, and was a firsthand witness to the devastation gun violence imposes on families and communities. Now with two children of his own, and his eldest daughter finishing Kindergarten, he is a strong advocate for sensible gun reforms that attack the epidemic of gun violence at all levels.
Rep. David Price
House of Representatives
“I have always believed that reasonable measures that reduce gun violence and keep firearms out of the wrong hands are entirely consistent with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Our current laws are failing us, and I refuse to believe that this issue is too complicated or too politically divisive to be addressed comprehensively and effectively.”
David Price represents North Carolina's Fourth District - a rapidly growing, research-and-education-focused district that includes parts of Orange, Durham, and Wake counties. He received his undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and went on to Yale University to earn a Bachelor of Divinity and Ph.D. in Political Science. Before he began serving in Congress in 1987, Price was a professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University. He is the author of four books on Congress and the American political system.
Price currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is the ranking member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Appropriations subcommittees covering homeland security, State Department, and foreign operations funding. He is a recognized leader in foreign policy, co-chairing the House Democracy Partnership, which he initiated to help strengthen parliaments in emerging democracies. In North Carolina, David's constituents know him as a strong supporter of education, accessible health care, affordable housing, clean air and water, and improved transportation alternatives.
David is a native of Erwin, Tennessee. He and his wife Lisa live in Chapel Hill and are parents of two children and proud grandparents of a grandson born in 2006 and a granddaughter born in 2009.
"Mothers are here today to support and amplify our children's voices. You are moving mountains that have not budged in the years since the Sandy Hook tragedy. We are here to love you, to care for you and support you. And when you are weary, we will carry you."Kaaren Haldeman is the mother of three boys, one in middle school and two in high school, and was the first statewide chapter leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America in North Carolina. She joined Moms in the weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy on December 14, 2012. At that time, her son was also in the first-grade. She has been a scholar-activist in gun violence prevention for more than five years and an advocate for safer, stronger and more sensible gun policies at the Congressional, NC General Assembly, and local levels. Prior to becoming an advocate and organizer, her training was in cultural anthropology (UNC-CH PhD '06) and public health (UC-Berkeley, MPH '99) with a focus on the intersections of mothering, race and health. She is also the lead organizer for Rise to Run on the campus of Josephine Dobbs Early College High School at NC Central University, working to support and train progressive-minded girls and young women to run for political office. She and her husband live in the city they love, Durham.
In her first term, Rep. Cynthia Ball has been actively working for the citizens of North Carolina. She has visited every public school in her House District 49; sponsored or co-sponsored 44 pieces of legislation, one passing both chambers unanimously and signed into law by the Governor; and hosted five
Town Hall Forums on important issues like
non-partisan redistricting reform, environmental protection and strengthening our public schools. In recognition of her leadership skills, she was elected
by her NC House peers to serve as Freshman Democratic Chair.
Born in Franklin County, NC, she attended public schools there, and then went on to UNC-Greensboro on a full academic scholarship, graduating with a BA in Psychology, Magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After earning an MBA at Virginia Commonwealth University, she later pursued doctoral coursework in Human Resources and Organizational Development at NC State University.
After working in university development for several years, she pursued a longtime interest and became a certified mediator. And since then, through her consulting business, she has been working with a variety of individual, family, business and organizational clients, helping them find common ground to resolve their disputes.
Rep. Ball is serving in her second term on the City of Raleigh Civil Service Commission. She has served on several boards and as an advisor to others, including WakeUp Wake County, AnimalKind, Wake County SPCA, and Artspace. Rep. Ball and her husband Dr. David Aspnes, Distinguished University Professor of Physics at NC State, live in a National Register of Historic Places and Raleigh Historic Landmark mid-century modern home in central Raleigh.
“I am awed by the energy and clear-headed thinking of the students who are leading the campaign for common sense gun legislation. That energy gives me great hope that we have finally reached a tipping point where reasonable laws—banning military-style weapons, raising the age for purchase, and requiring background checks and waiting periods—can be passed. The teachers I’ve talked to are angered at the thought of being armed with guns; instead, we should equip our schools with mental health professionals, nurses, and other resources to provide the best learning environment for our students.”
Gun Reform advocate, Jay Chaudhuri, is a father, husband, and member of the North Carolina Senate from the 16th district. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Indian immigrants, Chaudhuri moved to North Carolina as a child and went on to study at Davidson College, Columbia University, and finally North Carolina Central University School of Law. A longtime aide to Roy Cooper, and later to state treasurer Janet Cowell, Chaudhuri also taught part-time as a law professor at North Carolina Central University for two years.
Advocate Del Lancaster is a fifth year teacher atvJ.Y. Joyner Elementary. He is a 20-year teaching veteran who has taught multiple grade levels, but currently teaches the fifth grade. Mr. Del is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.