Panelist Kathleen F. Carlson, MS, PhD is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health, and a Core Investigator with the Health Services Research Center of Innovation at the VA Portland Health Care System. She completed her BS at Oregon State University, and her MS and PhD degrees at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, focused on injury epidemiology. Dr. Carlson’s research examines the spectrum of injury prevention and control, from the epidemiology of intentional and unintentional injuries to the rehabilitation of military veterans with combat injuries. Her current research grants examine firearm-related injuries, opioid and other medication-related injuries, and short- and long-term functional outcomes of veterans’ traumatic brain injury. Dr. Carlson leads the OHSU-PSU Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue initiative, an effort that started in 2016 in response to the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Florida that summer. Her leadership roles with national injury prevention organizations include serving on the Board of Directors for the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research and with the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services section of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Carlson directs the VA health services research post-doctoral fellowship program at the Portland VA and teaches/advises MPH and PhD students in epidemiology at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.
Born and raised in rural Oregon, Dr. Carlson grew up with firearms and is a firearm owner. In 2013, she also experienced the loss of a beloved family member – a combat veteran – to firearm suicide.
Panelist Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana joined Congregation Beth Israel in July 2006, becoming the 18th Senior Rabbi to serve CBI in Portland, Oregon. Leading synagogues in the Midwest and the East Coast, Rabbi Cahana has strived to create vibrant and inclusive Jewish communities. Through his leadership and programming, Rabbi Cahana has reached out to unaffiliated Jews, interfaith families, and others who have struggled to find a home in the Jewish community. Rabbi Cahana brings to Congregation Beth Israel his passion for creating a warm, supportive community in which Jewish learning and worship are exciting and engaging.
Rabbi Cahana’s academic interests are at the interface of religion and science with a particular emphasis on medical ethics. He has served on the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s Committee on Human Sexuality and chaired its ad hoc committee on Physician-Assisted Suicide and its the Resolutions Committee. Rabbi Cahana continues to serve on community boards and inter-religious councils; and is a past President of the Oregon Board of Rabbis. Rabbi Cahana has published on such diverse topics as physician-assisted suicide in Jewish law, the Unvoiced Tetragrammaton, and the role of religion in the T.V. series “Battlestar Galactica.”
In 1999, Rabbi Cahana was featured, along with his family, in the critically acclaimed documentary “The Last Days.” The film tells the true stories of five Hungarian survivors of the Holocaust, including Rabbi Cahana’s mother – the renowned Holocaust artist Alice Lok Cahana (z”l). “The Last Days,” which was produced by Steven Speilberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, won the 1999 Academy Award for “Best Documentary.” In 2009, he accompanied his mother to Rome where one of her large-scale paintings became the first piece of Holocaust art on permanent display in the Vatican museum.
Born in Houston, Texas, Rabbi Cahana comes from multiple generations of rabbis including his late father, Rabbi Moshe Cahana, and his older brother, Rabbi Ronnie Cahana. Rabbi Cahana began with a career in theater, including acting, directing, and theatrical design. He later earned an MFA in Architectural Lighting from Parson’s School of Design. Soon, however, family tradition of the rabbinic life called him, leading to his ordination in 1994, becoming the first Reform rabbi in his family’s long rabbinic history. Rabbi Cahana integrates his rabbinical training with his theater background to create an environment in which prayer becomes an art form. During worship, there is an aesthetic of thought, when individual moments can inspire movement and change.
Rabbi Cahana is also highly engaged in social action, embracing the concept of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) to make our community and nation better. He serves on the leadership team of Lift Every Voice Oregon, an interfaith movement to pass gun safety legislation in Oregon. He also is on the Board of Cedar Sinai Park and an at-large member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.
While studying in Jerusalem, he met his wife, Cantor Ida Rae Cahana who is formerly the Senior Cantor of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue and now serves as Senior Cantor at CBI. They live in Portland with their son, David, and triplets Sarit, Liora, and Idit.
Panelist Roy Moore is an outreach worker at Healing Hurt People, a hospital-based intervention program that supports young men of color who have experienced violence. He is also a performance artist and co-founder of Men Building Men, a peer mentorship program for men of color who are victims of gang and gun violence.
“As a survivor of gun violence, I know what it feels like to be vulnerable in that moment and how hard it is to deal with the aftermath. There’s a lot of fear: Will I survive? Will I heal? Am I going to have the support I need to get through this? In the days after I was shot, there was no crisis response to help me deal with the trauma. No recovery resources to help me get my life back on track. No advocate to fight for my healing, safety, or rights. It took a lot of strength and determination to come out of that situation. I was able to rebuild my life, but nobody should have to go through that kind of trauma without support or resources.
Sadly, the reality is that so many people never receive the care they need when they’ve been harmed by violence. There’s a huge gap in resources. A lot of us don’t get the real help we need, like with relocation, medical care, or other services that allow us to recover. For people of color, there’s also a lack of trust in the criminal justice system. There’s a lot of fear, and there’s a lot to lose if you participate in the system. People of color who’ve been hurt by violence often get treated like they’re the ones who committed the crime. It’s this reality that motivates me to be an advocate for change.
Today, I provide trauma-informed care at local hospitals to people of color who have been affected by violence. I’m on call 24 hours a day. I show up, and I provide culturally specific support for victims and their families at a time when it might feel like it’s just them against the world. Doing this work is helping me heal as much as it’s helping others overcome their trauma.”
Facilitator Nike Greene, MA LMFT, was born in Portland, Oregon. As a wife and mother of four, family is her primary value. Nike is a graduate of George Fox University with a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Nike is currently a Licensed Marriage & Family therapist, and ministers alongside her husband, Pastor Herman Greene, at Abundant Life PDX Church in North Portland.
She has traveled throughout the US, speaking and teaching to diverse audiences. Nike’s gifts have been utilized beyond US borders in Uganda, Mexico, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Congo. She is dedicated to serving in missions for the last 5 years in Uganda and Rwanda.
Nike’s mission in life is to bring healing, inspiration, and a message of hope. She helps serve families throughout the year in a specific north Portland housing community. She believes that the more we reach out to others, the more others will gravitate towards us, and that when we remove our masks of fear we will find trusting relationships that will prove valuable in our life. No one is an island unto themselves. Her mission is to stand committed to her faith, to live a healthy and balanced life which directly affects her husband, children, physical health, and everyday interaction with people and lastly to use her gifts to help build people up daily. Nike uses her platform and her personal lived experiences as an athlete, coach, survivor of domestic violence and more to demonstrate resiliency and encourage hope.
She is the Director of the Office of Violence Prevention under the Mayor’s Office. Nike’s endeavors remain connected to her passion around collaborative communities, education, engaged families and celebrating diversity. As a therapist, she believes that healing and unity can build stronger communities. She is known for her vibrant personality, experiences within school and correctional systems, community leadership and her stand for social justice.