Veterans DaySpecial Event

Recognizing Veterans:
A Conversation

Join us for a facilitated dialogue about patriotism, trauma, homelessness, military families, well-being and community engagement.  

Thursday, November 12, 2020
11:00 - 12:00 PM ET 


Guest Speakers

BennettWalidah Bennett is a Gold Star Mother, a Global Alliance Recognition Award Honoree, and the Founder and Director of the Multi-Faith Veteran Initiative at DePaul University Egan Office for Urban Education and Community Partnerships. The initiative works citywide within the Chicago Metropolitan and surrounding areas to develop community circles of support in collaboration with faith-based and community organizations and to link veteran and veteran families to services and resources within the community. The initiative provides education and training on veteran transition issues and works to facilitate partnerships between the faith community and behavioral health providers.


Kelcey Liverpool is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kids Rank, founded in 2012 as a nonprofit organization designed specifically to support the social and emotional well-being of military and veteran children. With over 20 years as part of the military community, as a Navy spouse for 17 years, moving with her family a total of 9 times and volunteering in several roles at various military installation agencies, she understands first-hand the challenges that are faced by children and families of service members. Inspired by her own children’s resilience through many moves, separations and constant transitions Ms. Liverpool felt it was important to focus on the whole child recognizing both their strengths and challenges. Kelcey was recently chosen to participate in a 2-year program as a Summit Fellow, a program that seeks to connect impact-driven leaders within the Summit community to affect positive change in the world and broaden their reach. Kelcey was also named as a 2019 Aspen Fellow

Joel TaboadaJoel Taboada served in the U.S. Army from 2003-2015. During this time, he was deployed to multiple overseas hostile areas including multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. After Joel's service, he returned home to pursue an education, give back to his community, and spend time with his family. He holds an Associate in Science degree from Morton College in Cicero, IL, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Network Engineering and Security at DePaul University. He also holds a certificate of Executive Education form the Chicago Management Institute at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Joel has previously helped his community by mentoring Chicago's youth in the Urban Warriors program and also helped in the founding of Green Card Veterans, an organization working towards ending the deportation of American military veterans.  Currently, Joel is a Community Veteran Coordinator for the Multi-Faith Veteran Initiative at DePaul University, where he works with faith and community leaders to help build veteran communities in our Chicago neighborhoods. 

Discussion Facilitator

GormanGeraldine (Gerry) Gorman is a Clinical Professor in the College of Nursing at University of Illinois at Chicago. As faculty at a large public university, she has always been concerned about the short and long-term impact of serving in conflict areas on returning student veterans. At the height of the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, Gerry worked with interdisciplinary faculty to launch the Vets Creative Strength Initiative—a workshop which used the arts as a medium to create community and healing among student veterans. She is also involved with the Primary Prevention of War Working group through the American Public Health Association.

Listen to our Podcasts on Veterans issues 

Read about Veteran's issues in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry