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#AskAMogul:Hi,I'mNicoleHockley.I'maFounderandManagingDirectorforSandyHookPromisewhereIworktopreventgunviolence.Askmeanything.Yourquestionswillbeansweredlive5/8@2pmET.

Nicole Hockley
Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
over 1 year Conversation

Your questions will be answered on Tuesday, May 8th at 2pm ET. To ask a question, click here to create a Mogul profile, then post a question in the comment section below.

Hi, I'm Nicole Hockley. I'm a Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), where I lead and manage the organization’s work, focusing on communications and outreach efforts. I frequently serve as its spokesperson.

After the tragic death of my son Dylan, one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I am focused on bringing people together in honest dialogue and searching for innovative solutions in the areas of mental health, school safety, community building and gun safety. I came to SHP with an extensive background in strategic marketing and communications for companies in the US and in the UK.

I oversee SHP’s strategic direction and communications, where I work tirelessly to enable social change and promote gun violence prevention.

To date, I have led SHP to educate and train over 2.5 million youths, teens, and adults in all 50 states through the organization’s four proven “Know the Signs” programs that are offered to schools, youth groups, and community groups at no-cost. My work has resulted in the prevention of multiple school shooting plots and gun threats, several teen suicides, as well as other violent acts throughout the country.

In addition, I was instrumental in working with BBDO New York on the award-winning PSA “Evan” that generated 2 billion impressions across 33 countries. The campaign championed the message at the heart of SHP’s mission -  that gun violence is preventable when one knows the signs, and won 10 coveted Cannes Lions awards.

After Dylan’s death, my family created Dylan’s Wings of Change, a 501(c)(3) charity with a mission to help children with autism and other related conditions to achieve their full potential, with specific programs on technology, sports & arts and a “Wingman” program that instills leadership and fosters inclusion.

Today, I remain in Sandy Hook with my eldest son, Jake.

Now's your chance to ask me anything. Please write your questions in the comments section below and I'll answer the questions live on Tuesday, May 8th at 2pm ET.

21 replies

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  • Nicole Hockley
    Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
    over 1 year ago

    Time for me to go!  I'll check in later to answer any questions I may have  missed.  Thanks for participating!

    Time for me to go!  I'll check in later to answer any questions I may have  missed.  Thanks for participating!

  • Danica
    over 1 year ago

    I really don't think guns should be in the hands of anyone but the highest of officials. Do you think only police officers should have guns or just a stricter application process?

    I really don't think guns should be in the hands of anyone but the highest of officials. Do you think only police officers should have guns or just a stricter application process?

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Great question, Danica.  Because of the 2nd Amendment, in the US we all have the right to bear arms.  However, I believe with that right comes an awesome responsibility, and yet we don't have effective ways to ensure someone who is purchasing who accessing a firearm is prepared for that responsibility.  Legislation such as Extreme Risk Protection orders, universal background checks and minimum age requirements can be very effective here.  I also do not believe that everyone needs access to firearms such as the AR-15, or high capacity magazines.  I can understand why someone might want to use one at a shooting range, but I've yet to hear a logical reply to why they are needed for personal home protection or hunting.  I'm very open to understanding different perspectives though!  Guns are in the US and won't be going away.  That's why I choose to focus more on the person accessing the weapon and what we need to do to ensure they are not at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, long before they reach the point of picking up a weapon with intent to harm.

      Great question, Danica.  Because of the 2nd Amendment, in the US we all have the right to bear arms.  However, I believe with that right comes an awesome responsibility, and yet we don't have effective ways to ensure someone who is purchasing who accessing a firearm is prepared for that responsibility.  Legislation such as Extreme Risk Protection orders, universal background checks and minimum age requirements can be very effective here.  I also do not believe that everyone needs access to firearms such as the AR-15, or high capacity magazines.  I can understand why someone might want to use one at a shooting range, but I've yet to hear a logical reply to why they are needed for personal home protection or hunting.  I'm very open to understanding different perspectives though!  Guns are in the US and won't be going away.  That's why I choose to focus more on the person accessing the weapon and what we need to do to ensure they are not at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, long before they reach the point of picking up a weapon with intent to harm.

  • Kathye
    over 1 year ago

    First of all, thank you for what you do. Your strength and resolve is extremely admirable. 


     Question 1: As someone who lives in another state, what is the number one way we can support you and your efforts? 

    Question 2: How do you minimize any effect from people who are trying to work against you so that you can maximize your energy on working to make change and moving forward? 

    Question 3: It's great to see so many people now demanding change. With so many organizations now involved in the discussions, is there some coordination happening between the organizations to strategize about messaging within different groups? 

    Thank you!
    -Kathye

    First of all, thank you for what you do. Your strength and resolve is extremely admirable. 


     Question 1: As someone who lives in another state, what is the number one way we can support you and your efforts? 

    Question 2: How do you minimize any effect from people who are trying to work against you so that you can maximize your energy on working to make change and moving forward? 

    Question 3: It's great to see so many people now demanding change. With so many organizations now involved in the discussions, is there some coordination happening between the organizations to strategize about messaging within different groups? 

    Thank you!
    -Kathye

  • Kathye
    over 1 year ago

    First of all, thank you for what you do. Your strength and resolve is extremely admirable. 


     Question 1: As someone who lives in another state, what is the number one way we can support you and your efforts? 

    Question 2: How do you minimize any effect from people who are trying to work against you so that you can maximize your energy on working to make change and moving forward? 

    Question 3: It's great to see so many people now demanding change. With so many organizations now involved in the discussions, is there some coordination happening between the organizations to strategize about messaging within different groups? 

    Thank you!
    -Kathye

    First of all, thank you for what you do. Your strength and resolve is extremely admirable. 


     Question 1: As someone who lives in another state, what is the number one way we can support you and your efforts? 

    Question 2: How do you minimize any effect from people who are trying to work against you so that you can maximize your energy on working to make change and moving forward? 

    Question 3: It's great to see so many people now demanding change. With so many organizations now involved in the discussions, is there some coordination happening between the organizations to strategize about messaging within different groups? 

    Thank you!
    -Kathye

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Thanks Kathye!


      1.  Sandy Hook Promise is national - currently in 7000 schools from all 50 states and growing fast, so you can definitely help where you live.  Start by going to sandyhookpromise.org and Make The Promise.  We can then help you with specific activities where you live, including sharing our mission/message, bringing our no-cost programs to your community, donating to help deliver the programs, becoming a Trainer or Promise Leader, or advocating for sensible legislation.  

      2.  I ignore people who actively work against me.  I work very well with people that don't always share my opinion - you can learn so much from respectful conversation - but if someone is obviously only interested in making noise, I ignore them and put my energy elsewhere

      3.  We all talk to each other and coordinate each other where it makes sense, but we don't work together on every single idea.  Firstly, because we don't want to duplicate each other.  Second, we each have a unique path of how we are implementing change.  A movement is not one person or one organization - it is many working toward a common goal but staying laser-focused on their lane in the highway and the people they are trying to reach.  

      Hope that helps!

      Thanks Kathye!


      1.  Sandy Hook Promise is national - currently in 7000 schools from all 50 states and growing fast, so you can definitely help where you live.  Start by going to sandyhookpromise.org and Make The Promise.  We can then help you with specific activities where you live, including sharing our mission/message, bringing our no-cost programs to your community, donating to help deliver the programs, becoming a Trainer or Promise Leader, or advocating for sensible legislation.  

      2.  I ignore people who actively work against me.  I work very well with people that don't always share my opinion - you can learn so much from respectful conversation - but if someone is obviously only interested in making noise, I ignore them and put my energy elsewhere

      3.  We all talk to each other and coordinate each other where it makes sense, but we don't work together on every single idea.  Firstly, because we don't want to duplicate each other.  Second, we each have a unique path of how we are implementing change.  A movement is not one person or one organization - it is many working toward a common goal but staying laser-focused on their lane in the highway and the people they are trying to reach.  

      Hope that helps!

  • Kathye
    [deleted]
    over 1 year ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • Nicole Hockley
    Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
    over 1 year ago

    One minute to go!  I'm here and ready to answer your questions!


    One minute to go!  I'm here and ready to answer your questions!


  • sandy w.
    over 1 year ago

    Are you all working with the March For Our Lives/Never Again teams?

    Are you all working with the March For Our Lives/Never Again teams?

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Thanks Sandy!  We've been doing our best to support them by amplifying their voices and helping where we can.  We've done a few events together, and I hope to do more to help them get their message to SHP supporters and schools.  I was at the march in DC, along with my son and my Mom and it was truly amazing.  I love what the MFOL/Never Again team is doing!


      Thanks Sandy!  We've been doing our best to support them by amplifying their voices and helping where we can.  We've done a few events together, and I hope to do more to help them get their message to SHP supporters and schools.  I was at the march in DC, along with my son and my Mom and it was truly amazing.  I love what the MFOL/Never Again team is doing!


  • Taylor Willimon
    over 1 year ago

    What do you like to do outside of work? 

    What do you like to do outside of work? 

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Thanks Taylor.  Ummm...honestly, I work a lot.  I tried to start a book club as I found I was only reading books about social movements and youth violence, but then still didn't make time for the monthly social book! My surviving son, Jake, is my number one priority, so when I'm with him we do whatever he wants to do - play video games, watch TV (Hell's Kitchen and Dr Who are current faves of his), movies, cycling and tennis.  Otherwise, if I have free time for me, I am currently doing a lot of DIY/construction in my house and like to teach myself to make new things and learn new skills.  My go-to is the beach; I love it for walking, thinking, swimming, anything really.  Finally, I have a very close network of friends, including 4 other women that I have been friends with since 7th grade and we talk every single day.  

      Thanks Taylor.  Ummm...honestly, I work a lot.  I tried to start a book club as I found I was only reading books about social movements and youth violence, but then still didn't make time for the monthly social book! My surviving son, Jake, is my number one priority, so when I'm with him we do whatever he wants to do - play video games, watch TV (Hell's Kitchen and Dr Who are current faves of his), movies, cycling and tennis.  Otherwise, if I have free time for me, I am currently doing a lot of DIY/construction in my house and like to teach myself to make new things and learn new skills.  My go-to is the beach; I love it for walking, thinking, swimming, anything really.  Finally, I have a very close network of friends, including 4 other women that I have been friends with since 7th grade and we talk every single day.  

  • Taylor Willimon
    over 1 year ago

    What is it like to live in Sandy Hook following the tragedy? Did it bring the community closer together? 

    What is it like to live in Sandy Hook following the tragedy? Did it bring the community closer together? 

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Thanks for your question, Taylor!  What I have found, and I think it rings true for many tragedies, is that after something like this people come together and want to do something, but as different ideas of what that "something" should be, fractures occur and people go in different directions.  Over time, they usually come back together.  I can't speak for the town, but my from perspective, that is what happened/is happening here.  It's a beautiful community, but 28,000 people can have 28,000 different opinions!  I believe it is a close community, based in kindness and respect, but we are all still very unique in our paths.  

      Thanks for your question, Taylor!  What I have found, and I think it rings true for many tragedies, is that after something like this people come together and want to do something, but as different ideas of what that "something" should be, fractures occur and people go in different directions.  Over time, they usually come back together.  I can't speak for the town, but my from perspective, that is what happened/is happening here.  It's a beautiful community, but 28,000 people can have 28,000 different opinions!  I believe it is a close community, based in kindness and respect, but we are all still very unique in our paths.  

  • Default
    Guest
    over 1 year ago

    Thank you for the work you do. As people here have said, you are an inspiration on how to turn something bad into something that can help others. You deserve all the best and I am so sorry about your son. My question is: do you think it's possible for the NRA to come to some sort of middle ground, where we still respect the 2nd Amendment, but tighten gun laws? 

    Thank you for the work you do. As people here have said, you are an inspiration on how to turn something bad into something that can help others. You deserve all the best and I am so sorry about your son. My question is: do you think it's possible for the NRA to come to some sort of middle ground, where we still respect the 2nd Amendment, but tighten gun laws? 

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Thanks for your question Brian.  I really hope so.  The NRA's leadership has significantly changed the organization over the last 30 years, and I do not believe they represent the core of their membership.  But even the leadership are people and parents - I have to believe that down deep they want to protect people and not just profits.  I also believe they will have to move more toward the center/middle ground, or risk being marginalized.  We can DEFINITELY tighten gun safety laws and ensure appropriate access, while maintaining 2A rights.  Open minds, respectful conversation and looking for the 'possible" instead of just the "impossible" are important first steps.  Nobody is PRO-gun violence.  There is a way forward if people want it. 

      Thanks for your question Brian.  I really hope so.  The NRA's leadership has significantly changed the organization over the last 30 years, and I do not believe they represent the core of their membership.  But even the leadership are people and parents - I have to believe that down deep they want to protect people and not just profits.  I also believe they will have to move more toward the center/middle ground, or risk being marginalized.  We can DEFINITELY tighten gun safety laws and ensure appropriate access, while maintaining 2A rights.  Open minds, respectful conversation and looking for the 'possible" instead of just the "impossible" are important first steps.  Nobody is PRO-gun violence.  There is a way forward if people want it. 

  • Jesse James Anderson
    Jesse James Anderson Founder, CEO of NYAToday
    over 1 year ago Baltimore, MD, United States

    What happened to your son is and will always be horrible and devastating. You are so brave for turning your grief into a passion to make sure that a similar shooting doesn't occur again. 

    What happened to your son is and will always be horrible and devastating. You are so brave for turning your grief into a passion to make sure that a similar shooting doesn't occur again. 

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Thank you Jesse.  I don't consider myself brave.  I'm just a parent who doesn't want anyone to experience the loss of a child, especially from such a senseless, preventable tragedy.  Dylan was 6 years old when he was killed.  He doesn't have a voice, so I will be his voice and work to prevent gun violence in his name.  It's the best way I can think to honor him.  <3


      Thank you Jesse.  I don't consider myself brave.  I'm just a parent who doesn't want anyone to experience the loss of a child, especially from such a senseless, preventable tragedy.  Dylan was 6 years old when he was killed.  He doesn't have a voice, so I will be his voice and work to prevent gun violence in his name.  It's the best way I can think to honor him.  <3


  • bandkbaden@aol.com
    over 1 year ago

    Hi Nicole, 

    How can I help?
    Bruce Baden

    Hi Nicole, 

    How can I help?
    Bruce Baden

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Get engaged in the issue, Bruce!  Find an organization that resonates with the way you want to help this issue and lean in to it!  If you like what we do at Sandy Hook Promise (teaching prevention in schools and youth orgs mixed with lobbying for complementary legislation) then go to sandyhookpromise.org and enter your email to Make The Promise.  You can share our mission and messages with your friends and on social media, become a Promise Leader (our 6000+ strong Super Volunteers) and help bring our no-cost programs to your school (over 7000 in all 50 states, and growing), donate so we can keep training more youth and adults in our prevention programs, and/or support our state and federal legislative efforts.  Lots of ways you can help - the first step is Making the Promise and then keeping that Promise.

      Get engaged in the issue, Bruce!  Find an organization that resonates with the way you want to help this issue and lean in to it!  If you like what we do at Sandy Hook Promise (teaching prevention in schools and youth orgs mixed with lobbying for complementary legislation) then go to sandyhookpromise.org and enter your email to Make The Promise.  You can share our mission and messages with your friends and on social media, become a Promise Leader (our 6000+ strong Super Volunteers) and help bring our no-cost programs to your school (over 7000 in all 50 states, and growing), donate so we can keep training more youth and adults in our prevention programs, and/or support our state and federal legislative efforts.  Lots of ways you can help - the first step is Making the Promise and then keeping that Promise.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    over 1 year ago New York, NY, United States

    Thank you so much for the work you do @Nicole Hockley I am so sorry for your loss. I really admire how you turned tragedy into something positive and it's such an incredible lesson in resilience. In terms of preventing gun violence, what are the top warning signs we should watch for in people? 

    Thank you so much for the work you do @Nicole Hockley I am so sorry for your loss. I really admire how you turned tragedy into something positive and it's such an incredible lesson in resilience. In terms of preventing gun violence, what are the top warning signs we should watch for in people? 

    • Nicole Hockley
      Nicole Hockley Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise
      over 1 year ago

      Thank you Bethany.  We have a downloadable brochure at www.sandyhookpromise.org that highlights some of the main signs to watch for that may indicate someone is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else.  This includes things like being over aggressive and/or lacking self-control. chronic social isolation, threatening behavior, major behavioral shifts, expressing hopelessness about the future, antisocial behavior, bragging about access to weapons etc.  

      Thank you Bethany.  We have a downloadable brochure at www.sandyhookpromise.org that highlights some of the main signs to watch for that may indicate someone is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else.  This includes things like being over aggressive and/or lacking self-control. chronic social isolation, threatening behavior, major behavioral shifts, expressing hopelessness about the future, antisocial behavior, bragging about access to weapons etc.  


Nicole Hockley
Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise

Nicole Hockley is a Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), where she leads and manages the organization’s work, focusing on communications and outreach efforts and frequently serving as its spokesperson. After the tragic death of her son Dylan, one of 20 first-graders [...]

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