Last week, the Avielle Foundation, a non-profit focused on raising funds to support brain health research into the causes of violence, Phoenix 999 and a survivors’ group known as The Rebels Project hosted the first annual Brainstorming 5K in Littleton, Colo. The event drew close to 500 participants, and aimed to raise community awareness of the need for brain health research into the underpinnings of violent behavior, with prevention as the goal. Funds raised will be distributed to researchers through the Avielle Foundation’s grants program.
While we are all too familiar with the tragedies of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Columbine, Aurora and others, we still know little about the underlying drivers of violent behavior. Only once scientists have a better understanding of the biological and environmental factors associated with these pathologies can we then educate healthcare providers, teachers and other community members about identifying and responsibly advocating for those at risk of violent behaviors. Policies that facilitate counseling, education and therapeutic interventions could then be put into practice, potentially preventing acts of violence before they begin.
Prior to the Brainstorming 5K, Columbine Principal Frank DeAngelis, Phoenix 999 founder and member of the Columbine class of 1999 Heather Egeland, and Avielle Foundation CEO Jeremy Richman, Ph.D., a former Boulder resident who lost his only daughter, Avielle, in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., met for an informal meeting and tour of the Columbine Memorial. The importance of funding brain health research and potential solutions were discussed during this meeting.
Russo Partners secured coverage of the Avielle Foundation and the Brainstorming 5K, including a segment on the Denver CBS affiliate, KCNC, and radio interview on KOA 850. The Denver ABC affiliate, KMGH, also participated in the briefing at the Columbine Memorial.
Listen to Dr. Richman’s interview with KOA 850 discussing the Avielle Foundation and the Brainstorming 5K in more detail by clicking on the link below.