Young New Yorkers was honored to be included in the Department of Probation's 2015 #BeAboutIt Youth Anti-Violence Summit.
A full day of programming at Brooklyn Borough Hall began with strong, moving community voices, among them Senator Jesse Hamilton, Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, and, as the keynote speaker, Dr. Divine Pryor of the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions. Many young participants were also given the opportunity to hear panels of young people, parents, and individuals who were personally affected by gun violence, and ask questions.
In the second part of the summit, adult and youth participants split into breakout groups for five different workshops that addressed gun violence. Young New Yorkers lead one of the breakout groups. In the workshop, participants considered who in their lives they understood to be an Everyday Hero; wrote about the things they would want people to know about their neighborhoods; and illustrated the things they would like to see in their neighborhoods in the future. Participants hoped to one day see community centers surrounded by fields of flowers; places for people to practice their faiths; and job placement centers. A number of participants drew signifiers of love, unity, and peace amongst all of the people in their neighborhoods.
YNY ED Rachel Barnard listening to a participant describe what is great about his neighborhood.
One participant in our breakout session took a joyful, youthful approach to designing what she would like to see in her neighborhood in the future.
Participants write down the names of the people in their lives who they consider Everyday Heroes.