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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 27, 2014

More Than 350 Youths Attend Anti-Violence Summit At Friendship Collegiate Academy In Northeast Washington Fourth Annual Event Is Led By U.S. Attorney’s Office And Its Community Partners; U.S. Attorney Machen Urges Youths To “Be A Voice For Positive Change

     WASHINGTON - U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and numerous community partners today hosted an anti-violence summit attended by more than 350 youths in Northeast Washington.

     The fourth annual youth summit took place at Friendship Collegiate Academy and featured discussions about the importance of speaking out against violence and other topics, including the consequences of drug use, the importance of making good decisions, cyber-bullying, and Internet Safety. The event’s co-sponsors included the Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force, the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative, the East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, and other law enforcement and community partners.

     “We’re here today because we can put an end to this senseless violence,” U.S. Attorney Machen told the youths. “If just one of you listens and thinks twice when you are at that crossroads in your life -- before picking up that gun, before getting in that car where there is nothing but trouble – then this  day will be well worth it. You must protect your future at all times. It is your responsibility and yours alone.”

     U.S. Attorney Machen concluded his remarks with this challenge: “Ask yourself: Are you willing to stand up for what you believe and know in your heart is the right course of action? Are you willing to say no to drugs, no to abuse, no to bullying, no to hatred, no to retaliation? I believe that each one of you has the strength and courage to do so and in doing so becoming a leader for our community.  You can be a voice for positive change.”

     The event, emceed by DJ Flava of WKYS Radio (93.9 FM), featured speakers, entertainment, and invaluable resources. Performers included Young Motive, KRU3H, and Main Girl.

     The summit assembles young people from under-served neighborhoods in the District of Columbia to discuss the most pressing public safety challenges facing their communities. Previous summits also attracted more than 300 youth participants. The goal is to reach out to area youth on current public safety topics in an informative and inspiring way.

     Several collaborative partners joined in the day’s programs, including the Ward 3 and 4 D.C. Prevention Center; the Metropolitan Police Department; the Street Wize Foundation; Black Women for Positive Change; Friendship Collegiate Academy; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the Street Wize Foundation; and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The effort is supported by Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Department of Justice initiative aimed at reducing gun and gang crimes.

     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.

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Updated February 19, 2015