FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 22, 2012
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More Than 250 Youths Attend Anti-Violence Summit
Led by U.S. Attorney’s Office at Northeast Washington High School
- U.S. Attorney Machen Calls for “Breaking the Silence on Youth Violence” -
WASHINGTON - More than 250 youths gathered at a high school in Northeast Washington today for a summit sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that featured presentations geared toward empowering teenagers to stand up against violence.
U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and other speakers stressed the importance of responsible decision-making, showing a dedication to academics, and making commitments to pursuing goals that will lead to lifetimes of success. They also talked of the consequences of guns and violence, with one presentation including a high school student’s dramatic reading of a poem against a backdrop of a photo collage of now-deceased teenagers.
“You are responsible for your future,” U.S. Attorney Machen declared. “You have to guard your future, and if you don’t, it can be taken in an instant.”
The program, the second annual such event, took place at H.D.Woodson High School, with the assistance of the East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative and a host of law enforcement and community partners. It featured talks, panel discussions and performances meant to enlighten, engage and entertain youths from ages 11 through 17.
One presentation showed the emergency measures taken by doctors to treat gunshot victims and the devastation that comes when nothing more can be done to save them. Separate break-out sessions were tailored for boys and girls to deal with issues such as self-esteem, bullying, alcohol and drug abuse, and making good choices about “the company you keep.”
In addition to discussions led by law enforcement, ex-offenders, professional athletes, and others, participants in the day’s events were treated to performances by D.C.-based entertainers “Young Motive” and “Main Girl.” Also, members of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the “Beat Ya Feet Crew” showcased their popular and energetic step routines.
The program was presented with assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, and Washington Hospital Center, with assistance from community groups, churches and others.
The youth summit is one in a series of community events sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including town hall meetings, crime prevention presentations, and various outreach programs for people of all ages.