The Mission of the Avielle Foundation is to prevent violence and build compassion through neuroscience research, community engagement, and education.
The Avielle Foundation accomplishes this mission by directing efforts and resources in two areas that we feel are really two sides of the same coin. First, we support breakthrough neuroscience research, bridging biochemical and behavioral sciences, and making the neurosciences a prestigious and lucrative life endeavor. But knowing is not enough, we must apply our findings and understanding. Therefore, our second area of focus is community engagement and education initiatives that empower youth, parents, teachers, health care providers, law enforcement – the everyday citizen – to advocate for brain health in themselves and others.
The foundation is named in honor of Avielle. Avielle Rose Richman was, at the time, our only daughter and one of 26 children and educators tragically murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14th, 2012. My wife Jennifer and I are infinitely heart broken. In the years since the murder of our beautiful six year old daughter, our heartbreak has been repeated with hundreds of school shootings in the United States, not to mention the daily occurrences of homicide and suicide on our streets and in our homes. Violence, in its myriad forms, is an epidemic that plagues our country. With half of the world’s children and one in five of the developed world’s adults victimized each year, you’d be hard pressed to find someone whose life has not been directly touched by violence, to self or to others.
We miss Avielle more each and every day, and like so many of you, we want to bring about changes to stop this epidemic of violence. We want to prevent tragedies like these from happening to any community — ever again. The Avielle Foundation has been created in honor of our loving daughter — along with all the others who fall victim to violence — to foster an understanding of what leads someone to engage in harmful behavior, the risk factors, and conversely to identify and engender protective factors that lead away from violence and toward compassion, kindness, connection, community, and resilience. We are working with world leaders in four broad areas: brain health research, public health, community engagement, and education.