Youth Violence Summit

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

June 23, 2005

Drugs and violence are becoming more and more prevalent on the streets of Charlottesville. Tonight local law enforcement met the community to find a way to stop local violence.

About 75 people packed into Pilgrim Baptist Church to address youth and violence in our communities.

"Great resources. Good information has been provided. A very good learning experience. There is a lot that I did not know that was going on," said parent Karen Chambers.

Tonight's summit, dubbed 'Addressing Youth and Violence in our Community' was sponsored by the NAACP and aimed to bring together community members, law enforcement, and government officials to talk about the problems of drugs and violence in Charlottesville.

"I think it's a question of social responsibility. And that's the best that can come out of this dialogue--a community accepting responsibility for getting to this issue in a way that is going to be positive for our kids and for our families," said Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.

One of the stresses of the summit was proper parenting and role models. One resident believes this summit helped him learn a few things in dealing with today's youth.

"I got some tools about how to deal with some of the youth--because I have been working with youth in this community for many years. I also got some information to help me address some of their concerns," said Juandiego Wade.

In the end, residents took away a feeling that they can make a difference in their community by mentoring and helping.

"A role model is key. It is important to see role models in the community and have some contact with them," said David Simmons Jr.

This was one of several community meetings sponsored by the NAACP. The next meeting will be on August 20th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Burley Middle School. The topic of that meeting will be the importance of education.

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