The Rob Ingram Youth Summit Against Violence drew around 400 youth to the Ambridge Center to discuss how to create a safer environment for children and teens. (Find more photos on our Facebook page)
Held Saturday March 16, the summit brought youth from all over the city –in numbers twice as high as last year. The event is named after Rob Ingram, the former director of Portland's Office of Youth Violence Prevention. Ingram's mother, introduced the summit. His father, his wife Dana and daughter, Kai were also present.
The morning consisted of policy discussions, with youth only present in each of the sessions. Seven discussions looked at seven types of violence commonly experienced by Portland youth, and at one promising solution. They were: home, school, dating, anti-gay/gender, police, online and gang violence; and the healing potential of restorative justice.
Adult supporters present included Marc Fernandes, youth coordinator for the county working with the Multnomah Youth Commission, Antoinette Edwards, current director of the Office of Youth violence Prevention, students and staff from Portland State University, and Capt. Kevin Modica from Portland Police.
Adults held a session on adult-youth partnerships while the youth discussed anti-violence policies. Modica observed that one of the biggest problems he saw was that too few resources are targeted toward prevention efforts, and during recessions they are the most vulnerable to cuts.
Invited adults arrived in the afternoon to hear what youth had to say. They included Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioners Fish and Fritz, Deputy DA Eric Zimmerman, representatives from Gov. Kithaber's office, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith, and Parkrose Schools Superintendent Karen Gray.
Recommendations from the youth summit will be published and distributed in the coming weeks.
Find more photos from the summit on The Skanner News Facebook page