Southern Discomfort: Journalists Explore Guns and Drugs

Thu. March 21, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

City Council Chambers

605 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Sponsored by: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Pulitzer Prizes in support of "Democracy and the Informed Citizen"


Authors and journalists Thomas Kapsidelis (After Virginia Tech: Guns, Safety, and Healing in the Era of Mass Shootings) and Pam Kelley (Money Rock: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South) discuss challenges and resilience in confrontations with violence and social disintegration in the contemporary American South. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.

Why should you attend?

“Well-researched and clearly written, [the] book’s major accomplishment is the author’s exploration of the healing process…. Too many accounts of murderous rampages fail to offer long-term insights into the trauma faced by survivors, but Kapsidelis provides useful information on the topic, including discussions of ‘gun violence as a health issue.’… An important book for policymakers and those interested in the continuing, depressingly widespread instances of gun violence.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Kapsidelis tells the story of mass shootings unwaveringly from the perspective of survivors. His voice is quiet, empathetic, sensitive, trustworthy, accurate, and never overwrought, conveying empathy without pathos. Kapsidelis’s account of the actual day of the shooting, and the shooting itself, is brilliant. At a time when guns are posited as the only way to preserve life and safety, the events at Virginia Tech suggest that there are other means of survival and heroism.” —Pamela Haag, author of The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture

“Kelley could have written a fine book about Charlotte’s drug trade in the ’80s and ’90s, filled with shoot-outs and flashy jewelry. What she accomplishes with Money Rock, however, is far more laudable.” —Charlotte Magazine

“Compelling. . . . Kelley’s captivating account bears witness to people and places simultaneously striving and stuck; to the redemptive power of women; and to faith that a better way might be possible, for ourselves and our cities.” —Susan Burton, author of Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women