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Seventh Virtual National Town Hall - The Road to Recovery for Mass Violence Survivors & Communities #KnowBeforeYouNeedTo

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Event Dates

Join the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVRC) for a timely discussion on The Road to Recovery for Mass Violence Survivors & Communities.

At the conclusion of the National Town Hall, participants will be able to:

  • Identify long‐term trauma and trauma cues affecting mass violence survivors and how to mitigate them.
  • Identify long‐term trauma affecting mass violence impacted communities and how to mitigate it.
  • Describe effective strategies for individual and community needs assessments during the longer‐term recovery phase of a
    mass violence incident.
  • Identify best practices for annual commemorations and permanent memorials.
  • Describe unexpected challenges that may arise in the long‐term aftermath of a mass violence incident, and strategies to
    address them.
  • Describe the most important skills and strategies needed for professionals for the road to recovery.

Town Hall Presenters:

Eugenia Pedley is the Senior Program Manager for Mass Violence and Terrorism at the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) within the U.S. Department of Justice. Since joining OVC in June 2012, Ms. Pedley has worked with communities and organizations across the country that request Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) funding to support victims of these incidents. She provides guidance on grant development, technical assistance on victim support programs, and grant monitoring; and led the development of the Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Toolkit. She also manages several mass violence awards and programs that work to prepare for and respond to these incidents. Ms. Pedley has a background in law enforcement intelligence working for the FBI and other federal agencies prior to joining OVC.

Alyssa Rheingold, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at the NCVC. She is the Director of the Preparedness, Response & Recovery Division of the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center. Dr. Rheingold has been funded for both service and research projects by CDC, NIMH, OVW, VAWA, VOCA, SAMHSA, and OVC. Her expertise includes EBT of trauma related mental health issues, grief & loss, and traumatic loss by homicide. She was instrumental in the immediate response & evidence‐based mental health services and resiliency and recovery efforts to those impacted by the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, SC. She has published over 70 peer reviewed articles & book chapters in trauma, bereavement, & victimization and has served on the board of the Int’l Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. She has provided several trainings including Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Loss by Homicide, GRIEF Approach, Traumatic Grief, Impact of Witnessing Domestic Violence, Stress Management, Impact of Mass Violence, Early Interventions for Trauma Exposure, and Prolonged Exposure for PTSD.

Anne Seymour has been a national advocate for crime victims and survivors for 38 years and is the Associate Academic Program Director for the NMVVRC. She began her career in 1984 as the Director of Public Affairs for the National Office of MADD and, from 1985 to 1993, as co‐founder and Director of Communications and Resource Development of the National Center for Victims of Crime. Seymour has consulted with the U.S. Departments of Justice, Defense, State and Health & Human Services, the Peace Corps, and all 50 state governments to develop policies and protocols that improve the sensitive treatment of crime victims and survivors and promote justice reforms that improve individual and public safety. She has been involved in several mass crisis responses, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Navy Yard mass shooting in September 2013, among others. Seymour served as a Lead Consultant to plan and implement OVC’s 2009 “Assisting Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence” National Symposium and helped develop a mass violence training curriculum in 2016 for the District of Columbia Advanced Victim Services Academy. Seymour has received numerous honors for her efforts, including the 2018 U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Lifetime Achievement Award and the 1992 “Outstanding Services to Crime Victims” award from President Bush.

Amy C. O’Neill, MS, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor, a consultant for the VOCA‐NCJA and OVC TTAC Office of Justice Programs, a steering committee member for the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center, and a victim/survivor of the Boston Marathon Bombing. She serves on the Crisis Emotional Care Team for Vibrant Emotional Health, the Disaster Distress Helpline peer support task force development committee, the Disaster Mental Health Team for the American Red Cross, and the Survivors of Tragedy Outreach Program for Tuesday’s Children. Ms. O’Neill has presented at the ISSTD Congress for Complex Trauma, the National NOVA conference, KCIT, the first United Nations Global Congress for Victims of Terrorism in 2022 and contributed to the development of the United Nations Model Legislative Provisions for the rights of victims of terrorism. Ms. O’Neill maintains a private counseling practice, is an Adjunct Instructor for the graduate Counseling Psychology Program at Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA, and is completing her doctoral degree in Health Sciences at Bay Path University in Massachusetts.

Tennille K. Pereira, Esq. is a licensed attorney in Las Vegas with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. In the aftermath of the 1 October tragedy, Tennille facilitated civil legal services for the bereaved families and survivors at the Family Assistance Center and was appointed to her current position of Director of the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center in early 2019. Under her leadership, the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center was honored with the prestigious USDOJ OVC National Victim Service Award in 2020. Several impactful legislative measures were passed in Nevada through Tennille's advocacy, including the creation of a Statewide Victim Assistance Center that would be available to respond in the event of another mass incident. An earlier legislative measure provided that victim advocates were required to be incorporated at every stage of emergency management. As a result, Tennille was appointed as the first victim advocate member of the Nevada Resilience Advisory Committee and regularly consults on emergency management plans. Tennille was appointed to the 1 October Memorial Committee by Governor Sisolak in 2019 and elected as the Chairwoman of that Committee. Tennille is also an active member of the NMVVRC Resiliency Center Directors’ Forum. She has served in numerous volunteer roles in the community, including as a Court Appointed Special Advocate with foster care youth.

Aurelia Sands Belle, M. Ed., is a faculty member of the Medical University of South Carolina and is the Director of the Survivors & Providers Steering Committee at the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC). She also assists in other aspects of the Center’s work. In her career, she has provided direct responses to numerous incidents of mass violence and natural disasters. Aurelia has served as Executive Director of programs for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, as well as established a comprehensive program for all victims of crime. She continues her commitment to these issues through community engagement.

Date Created: August 17, 2023