Over 300 Teens to Address Mental Health, Addiction, Police-Youth Relations, and Other Issues at Somerville Youth Peace Conference April 16
WHAT: Somerville Youth Peace Conference
WHO: 300+ Somerville teens, Mayor Joseph Curtatone
WHEN: Saturday, April 16, 2016, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: East Somerville Community School, 50 Cross Street, Somerville
CONTACT: 617-625-6600 x.2256 or email@example.com
(Somerville, Mass.) — On Saturday, April 16, 2016, more than 300 youth are expected at the 10th annual Somerville Youth Peace Conference at the East Somerville Community School, 50 Cross St. Somerville, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The conference, Back From the Future, will feature original performances by Somerville teens based on their own lives, workshops, and a services fair, while also highlighting the growth of Somerville over the past decade. Attendees will share their own experiences in interactive breakout sessions facilitated by youth. The conference, presented by the Center for Teen Empowerment, Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Somerville Public Schools, and the City of Somerville, will examine teen violence, substance abuse, social media, bullying and other issues, with a special focus on destigmatizing mental health. Mayor Joseph Curtatone and other elected officials will join the mostly youth audience to listen to teens’ stories and ideas.
Somerville Speaks breakout sessions will follow the stage presentation and kick off the City’s #SomervilleSpeaks campaign, which seeks to destigmatize depression and other mental health issues, as well as teach coping skills. The campaign includes a youth Mental Wellness Ambassador program and youth-led sessions to increase awareness and conversation around mental wellness and health.
Inspiration for the Conference comes from Teen Empowerment Boston’s annual Youth Peace Conference, which began in 1993 as a way to bring together Boston teens to help solve the epidemic of gang violence occurring at the time. That first conference produced a lasting truce among five rival gangs and set the stage for a dramatic improvement in the lives of thousands of youth.
The Conference is open to the public. Tickets are $2 in advance, and $3 and at the door. More than a dozen groups are partnering with Teen Empowerment and the City to make the event a success.
Founded in 1992, The Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. (TE) empowers youth and adults as agents of positive individual, institutional, and social change. Each year, TE youth conduct over 150 initiatives involving some 6,000 youth and adults. For more information, visit http://www.teenempowerment.org.
12:30 p.m. Doors Open
12:50 p.m. Conference Stage Show: Using original theater, dance, rap, speeches and spoken word, the entirely youth performed stage show highlights the lives of Somerville youth: their concerns and struggles with family issues, depression, substance abuse, social media, bullying, violence, and other issues. The show will be introduced by Mayor Joe Curtatone.
3:00 p.m. Workshops and breakout sessions
4:30 p.m. Ice Cream Reception, Service Fair
5:30 p.m. Close