Marian Wright Edelman keynotes Mayor Greg Nickels' "Inspiring Hope and Making Change" youth violence prevention summit July 7 at 8:30 a.m. at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club/Rainier Valley Teen Center, 4520 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Edelman is founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund and a nationally recognized advocate for disadvantaged Americans.
Last fall, Nickels proposed the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative with the goal of reducing incidents of youth violence by 50 percent. In his State of the City speech last February, Nickels promised to hold a summit to explore best practices and call our entire community to action.
"This gathering will bring together parents, young people and community members to motivate and support each other in our efforts," Nickels says. "It will take everyone working together to engage our young people and offer them a better path."
Other speakers include Nickels and Mariko Lockhart, director of the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. Young people will be performing and reading poetry and community groups will staff a resource fair to sign up volunteers and provide help for families in need.
"The summit will continue our community-wide conversation about youth violence and demonstrate the city's strong desire to protect our children, to listen to them, and to provide them with options for the future. It will also be an opportunity to support those in the community who are saying loud and clear that violence is not acceptable and must stop," said Councilmember Tim Burgess who chairs the Council's Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee.
Nickels proposed the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative as part of his 2009-2010 budget, and the City Council approved $8 million for the effort. The initiative focuses on about 800 youth who are at highest risk of perpetuating violence or becoming victims. The goal is to reduce youth violence in half during the initiative's first year of operation.
For more information: www.seattle.gov/ mayor/issues/youthInitiative/.