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Citywide youth summit to focus on violence

9/17/2013, 4:16 p.m.
You violence has been on the increase in recent years.

— High school students from across Hampton are invited to attend “Teens for Change,” a citywide youth summit on Sept. 28 that will focus on how young people can better understand and respect their differences.

The summit is part of Hampton’s continuing efforts to stop youth violence by targeting the different sources and causes for conflict. It is sponsored by the Youth Advisory Group of the Citizens’ Unity Commission and Alternatives Inc., a nonprofit youth development organization.

The idea is for teenagers from public and private schools to get together to discuss five key areas that can challenge their ability to get along:

• Political affiliation

• Sexual orientation

• Race

• Religion

• Economic and educational status

“A major goal is that young people can unlearn the biases and prejudices they hold and can become more inclusive in their interactions throughout the city,” said Michele Woods Jones, executive director of the Unity Commission.

The summit will be in Moore Hall at Thomas Nelson Community College, 99 Thomas Nelson Drive from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Teens will need their parents’ permission to attend. Teens or their parents can go online to submit or print the form.

The theme, which was developed by Hampton teens, is “Opening the Door to New Possibilities: Think Outside Your Box – Expand Your Horizons.” The program includes an emcee, speakers, and a free lunch for participants.

Organizers said the goal of the summit is not to change beliefs or views, but to encourage understanding and respect for others. For more information, contact Maria Perkins, 757-838-2330 or mperkins@altinc.org; or Wanda Ferrell, 757-728-3279 or wferrell@hampton.gov