God and Guns Participants

PATRICK BLANCHFIELD is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College. A journalist and academic, his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, The Daily Beast, and elsewhere. He is also a frequent contributor to The Revealer. Patrick holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Emory University and is a graduate of the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute. He writes about US culture, guns, and politics at carteblanchfield.com.


REVEREND JEFFREY BROWN is a nationally recognized leader and expert in gang, youth and urban violence reduction and coalition building.  He is the founder of RECAP (Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace), a new national organization organized to assist cities build better partnerships between community, government and law enforcement agencies to reduce gang violence. He is also one of the co-founders of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, a faith-based group that was an integral part of the “Boston Miracle”, a process where the city experienced a 79% decline in violent crime in the 90s, and spawned countless urban collaborative efforts in subsequent years that followed the Boston Ceasefire model.  Rev. Brown consults to municipalities and police departments on issues around youth violence and community mobilization, and provides expertise to Fortune 25 corporations and the World Bank for the past 14 years on Collaborative Leadership and Managing Change.

He is the subject of a Harvard Business School case study on his efforts, and is an integral part of three others from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  Rev. Brown recently gave a TED Talk on his experiences (ted.com), and it has been seen by almost 1 million viewers. He is the recipient of numerous local, national awards and citations.  His current project is to generate a national conversation on the importance of faith and community institutions in public safety prescriptions.  He Pastored the Union Baptist Church in Cambridge, MA for 22 years, has spoken and lectured widely, and is known for his fiery and inspiring messages.

A resident of the Dorchester area of Boston, MA, Rev. Brown is married, and has three children of adult age.


JENNIFER CARLSON is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, splitting her time between Detroit and Toronto. A graduate of Dartmouth College, she received her Ph.D. in sociology in 2013 from University of California, Berkeley. Her award-winning research examines American gun culture, policing and public law enforcement, and conservative politics. It has been featured in popular venues like NPRChristian Science MonitorLos Angeles TimesWashington PostBBC, and Detroit News as well as in scholarly outlets such as Social ProblemsGender & SocietyBritish Journal of CriminologyContexts, Theoretical Criminology,Feminist Criminology and Violence Against Women. She is the author of Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline (Oxford University Press).


JENNIFER MASCIA is a staff writer at The Trace, a news site focused on gun violence and policy. She first reported on gun violence for the Editorial department of The New York Times following the Sandy Hook massacre. Prior to that she was an editorial assistant on the Times Metro desk for five years and spent two years as the lead writer for the paper’s annual Neediest Cases series, which profiled New York’s destitute. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Hunter College. In 2010 she authored a memoir about her father’s violent past.