The following meeting mentioned in this post from earlier today has been canceled due to weather conditions. A new date has not yet been determined: Memphis and Shelby County residents are invited to a free community forum tonight at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library titled “Real Talk: Youth Violence – A Candid Conversation.”
The discussion will run from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and attendees will be briefed on the state of youth violence in Memphis and Shelby County. They also will break into smaller groups to brainstorm solutions. Their suggestions will be presented at the Youth Violence Summit in Washington, D.C., in the spring.
In October, Memphis and five other U.S. cities were chosen to participate in President Barack Obama’s National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, which is being conducted by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education.
Since then, the city has formed the Memphis Youth Violence Prevention Policy Council with representatives from more than 20 public and private agencies. The group’s goal is to reduce youth and gang violence while increasing opportunities for youths.
“Our effort to combat youth violence isn’t about federally-imposed fixes, it’s about changing the way we do business on this critical public safety issue,” said U.S. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder in an October news release.
Other cities chosen to participate in the president’s program include Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Salinas and San Jose, Calif.
“The cities weren't selected by the size of the problem, but by their willingness to work with the federal government and other factors,” Mary Cashiola, the city’s brand manager, said in an e-mail. “I think our factors were scalability and the collaborations with Operation Safe Community and the business community.”
Anyone who plans to attend tonight’s discussion is asked to R.S.V.P. by calling 507-4198 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.