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In 2008, a daughter talking to her mother on a long-distance call hears cracks, and the phone goes dead.

Her brother returns from school and finds their mother, Susie, murdered—shot multiple times by the seventeen-year old burglars she interrupted. Now, from the perspective of time and reflection, Susie’s mother, Lois Schaffer, shares a memoir about her daughter’s life, the consequences of her death and her ongoing work to prevent more unthinkable tragedies.

Lois Schaffer will be signing her book, The Unthinkable, following this event.


Brief Bios

Lois Schaffer has devoted her energies to protecting human rights—she marched in support of the civil rights movement and to protest the war in Vietnam and was actively advocating the reduction of gun violence even before her daughter’s murder. Now her energies are even more focused to honor her daughter’s memory and prevent tragedies for other families.


Michelle Schimel is now serving her fourth term in the New York State Assembly for the 16th Assembly District. For close to twenty years, Michelle served on the Board of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.


Leah Gunn Barrett is Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV). Prior to this, she was a dean and an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs. She lived for 14 years in London where she held senior management positions with Data Resources (DRI) Europe, The Economist Group and Tetra Pak UK. As Executive Director of CeaseFire Maryland, the statewide gun violence prevention group, she led efforts for an assault weapons ban. Leah lost her older brother, Greg, to gun violence in 1997. She holds a B.A. from Carleton College in Economics and Russian, a Master’s in International Affairs and Russian from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University.


June Rubin is a founding member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and currently the Manhattan Ambassador within the Greater NYC Chapter. She has been a proponent of common sense gun legislation throughout her life. June has personally experienced the life-changing effects of gun violence, when she was robbed at gun point in her own store in Miami, FL. She was able to bring her two passions—quilting and advocating for gun violence prevention—together in the "Mother's Dream Quilt", a nationwide campaign of Moms Demand Action. For her, Moms Demand Action, its grassroots efforts and quilts have proven to be the perfect ingredients in a much needed recipe for change.

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