WASHINGTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia teamed up with several local and federal law enforcement partners and community-based organizations today to present the Annual “Breaking the Silence on Youth Violence” Youth Summit.” Due to continued COVID-related social distancing, the Summit was again presented virtually – this year, to more than 250 youth participants.
Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips welcomed youth participants, commending them for their “persistence in pursuing [their] aspirations despite the challenges that may arise.” “[D]uring the past year-and-a-half, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, [you] have faced challenges and hardships, but you continue to show your resolve in not only achieving personal success, but in helping to make your community a better place to live,” Phillips remarked. Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips also awarded one of three 2021 United States Attorney Office’s Youth Citizenship Awards to Ronald Woods II. Brandi Ling and Emon Thompson, who appeared remotely to accept the Award, also were recipients of the USAO Youth Citizenship Award.
Each year, the free Summit focuses on gun violence and mental health issues, and features dynamic speakers, entertainment, prizes, and invaluable information and resources. For the past ten years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has collaborated with its partners to host the Youth Summit. Past Summits have included sessions that highlighted the causes and consequences of youth violence, challenged youth participants to make better decisions, and emphasized the importance of cooperating with law enforcement.
This year’s Youth Summit focused on prevention of gun violence, opioid abuse, and sex trafficking. Emceed by local celebrity DJ Flava, the Summit featured Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee III; Tia Bell, founder of the T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project; domestic sex trafficking survivor Tina Frundt, founder of Courtney’s House; and Catie Drew, DEA Scientist and Senior Prevention Program Manager, among other speakers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenya Davis shepherded youth participants through a discussion of human trafficking.
Summit partners this year included the D.C. Prevention Center; the East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative; Hillcrest Children and Family Center; the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency; the Marion Barry Summer Youth Program; the DC Metropolitan Police Department; the DC Department of Parks and Recreation; the DC Department of Behavioral Health; Advocates for Justice and Education Inc.; the DC Parent Information & Training Center; University Legal Services of the District of Columbia’s Disability Rights Protection and Advocacy Program; Phil More Fit Fitness; and Kids Eat Free.
For more information, contact United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia Director of Community Outreach Wendy Pohlhaus at (202)252-6930 or email@example.com.