The Ambridge Event Center came alive on Saturday, March 16 when over 400 youth convened to address violence in our community.
At the 2nd Annual Rob Ingram Youth Summit Against Violence, a very diverse body of youth engaged in deep conversations about their experiences with the seven types of violence and restorative justice. Youth analyzed the 70+ policy recommendations that were developed at last year's summit and created action plans surrounding the specific issues.
Nick was was pleased to join the youth at the afternoon session to hear about the group's work. Other elected officials and community leaders included Mayor Hales, police officers, religious leaders, school officials, and youth workers from across the City and County. Local leaders committed to various actions, ranging from continuing to fund youth programs (like Summer Youth Connect), to police officers committing to engage in deeper conversations with the youth with whom they engage about the specific local causes of violence.
Perla Alvarez, 18, said, "The really great thing about the summit is that it is youth-driven. It's one of those rare chances for community elders to hear first-hand what's on our minds."
This summit was held by the Youth Against Violence Committee of the Multnomah Youth Commission (MYC). The MYC, the official youth policy body for both Multnomah County and the City of Portland, is a group of young people, ages 13-21, that strives to provide a voice for youth in the County & City's work. In addition to its advisory role within local government, the MYC works to change policy affecting young people, as well as stereotypical community perceptions.
All youth are encouraged to apply to be a member of the Multnomah Youth Commission. Applications are due Monday, April 29, 2013. For more information and to download an application, visit the MYC's website.
Helen Silvis in The Skanner