6th Annual Teen Empowerment Somerville Youth Peace Conference

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By William Tauro

This past Saturday the 6th Annual Somerville Youth Peace Conference took place with over 450 students and Teen Empowerment Members including Mayor Curtatone, Police Chief Fallon, and several members of the Somerville State House Delegation were in attendence.

The teens addressed Mental Health, Addiction, Police-Youth Relations, and other Issues at Somerville Youth Peace Conference that took place at the Somerville High School on Highland Avenue.

YOUTH PEACE CONFERENCE HISTORY

Boston neighborhoods in 1993 were engulfed by an epidemic of gang violence. Almost every day a young person was shot or killed by another youth. In response to these tragic and painful events, the youth of Teen Empowerment organized the first Youth Peace Conference. That conference, held May 5, 1993, attracted more than 250 teens from rival factions, produced a lasting peace treaty among five gangs, and set the stage for the dramatic decline in gang and youth violence that followed over the next several years.
Teen Empowerment has held the Youth Peace Conference annually since then in Boston, bringing together hundreds of teens to build relationships, explore important issues such as education, jobs, crime, and police-youth relations, and celebrate the power of youth to take action for positive change. TE’s youth conference in Rochester has been organized annually since 2004, and thier Somerville site held its first conference in 2007.

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