Youth Violence Summit Meetings set by Mayor Barry

Mayor Megan Barry’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement will be hosting four meetings of the youth violence summit over the course of the next month.

“Reducing youth violence through expanded hope and opportunity will take all of our community, working together, to solve the challenges we face,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “First, it starts with listening to those whose lives are impacted the most by youth violence: Nashville’s teenagers.”

The continued youth violence summit will begin with a meeting of up to 400 students representing all of Nashville’s public high schools, followed by three meetings focusing on specific age ranges: birth through age 12, 13 through 18, and 19 through 25.

Lonnell Matthews, director of the Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement, has been meeting with community members to plan for the upcoming meetings and ensure that many diverse voices and perspectives could be heard in the process.

The culmination of the meetings will be a plan, provided to the Mayor in March, for investments and policy changes that Metro Nashville can make to reduce violence among Nashville’s youth.

‘Breaking the Cycle of Violence and Despair for Teens’ will be held Saturday, February 6, from 9 am to noon at Maplewood High School, 401 Walton Ln., Nashville, Tenn. 37216. This meeting will be focused on youth ages 13 to 18. Participants will include parents, educators, youth serving agencies, law enforcement, mentors, faith leaders, and teenagers. The Martha O’Bryan Center and Partners in the Struggle will be working with the Mayor’s Office to facilitate the discussion.

‘Recovering Young Adults Ages 19-25’ will be held Saturday, February 20, from 9 am to noon at the SE Community Center, 5260 Hickory Hollow Pkwy #202, Antioch, Tenn. 37013. Community leaders and experts will gather to identify barriers that may be limiting the success of youth ages 19 to 25 who have either experienced violence or are ex-offenders attempting to start a new path in life. Experts will include law enforcement, mentors, educators at the high school and post-secondary level, career development agencies, parents and individuals in this age range who can discuss the challenges they face.

‘Setting the Foundation for Success’ will be held Saturday, February 27, from 9 am to noon. The location will be announced at a later date.

This event will feature parents, educators, youth agencies, and faith leaders who will gather to identify trends and behaviors currently exhibited by children from birth to the age of 12.

They will discuss family dynamics that either contribute to or reduce anti-social behaviors and conduct an inventory of quality programs and services that currently exist with a goal of identifying gaps in services.