WASHINGTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia teams up with our local and federal law enforcement partners and community-based organizations to host the Tenth Annual “Breaking the Silence on Youth Violence Youth Summit,” on Friday, July 17, 2020, at The Catholic University of America in the Hartke Theater. Due to the global pandemic, this year’s youth summit was presented for the first time virtually via Zoom. This year’s summit broke attendance records with 659 youth logged on to participate.
Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin gave the welcome address to the youth and spoke about the tragic death of George Floyd and how law enforcement can reevaluate how to more effectively balance First Amendment rights and violence that may be associated with protests. He also expressed how critical it is to communicate with the youth, especially during times such as these. Acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin also recognized and congratulated the 13 youth winners of the 2020 United States Attorney’s awards.
The free Summit focuses on gun violence and mental health issues and feature dynamic speakers, entertainment, prizes, invaluable information and resources.
For the past nine years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has collaborated with its partners to host the Youth Summit. Past Summits have included sessions that highlight the causes and consequences of youth violence, challenge youth participants to make better decisions, and emphasize the importance of cooperating with law enforcement.
This year’s Youth Summit featured virtual Zumba and public service announcements on how to stay healthy during this time of crisis. Staff from the U.S. Attorney’s Office presented valuable information on topics such as “Know Your Rights,” “Mental Health” and “Internet Safety.” There was also a moment of silence for victims of gun violence.
In addition, there was a Youth Art Contest in which the theme urges young people to reflect in their artwork ways that they can effectuate change in their communities.
This year’s partners include, East of the River Family Collaborative, Hillcrest Family and Child Services Organization, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, D.C. Prevention Centers, the Metropolitan Police Department, the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, D.C. Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health, the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, The Flava Show, and the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.
This year’s Youth Summit was a tremendous success. For more information, contact Director of Community Outreach, Wendy Pohlhaus (202)252-6930 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also view the video of the summit on YouTube using the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OJpGh4rjeA&t=52s.