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Students Discuss Violence, Dating Issues during Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence
Posted 10/06/2017 12:39PM


On Tuesday, Oct. 3, a small group of leaders from clubs and organizations, including sophomores, juniors and seniors, gathered in the McGonigle Theater for the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence Youth Summit, presented by The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-Pep) and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence.

The 4-hour long summit encouraged an open dialogue about issues of violence and crime that affect our communities. Students listened to guest speakers discuss cyber bullying, gun violence, domestic violence and dating violence, among other issues, and participated in small group discussions with their peers surrounding these topics. Facilitators provided students with techniques and resources for reporting and strategies to reduce violence.

In addition to leaders from B-Pep, students also had the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue with several City of Pittsburgh Zone 4 police officers. Students discussed police engagement, protocols, and current political issues surrounding the police force, including instances of police brutality. 

"It is important for us to facilitate a dialogue about these difficult but prevalent issues with our young men," said Jim Donahue, Director of Family Support Services. "By educating our students about ways to mitigate violence and encouraging an open and honest discussion, we hope to instill them with the knowledge they need to make educated decisions within their own communities and when they move on to college." 

The Coalition Against Violence, a broad-based coalition consisting of community and religious leaders, police, representatives from education and government institutions, and concerned citizens of Allegheny County stands as an independent anti-violence collaborative with some administrative support from the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP). The purpose and the role of the Coalition Against Violence is to identify and facilitate the implementation of strategies and initiatives addressing the issues of violence and crime that plague many of the neighborhoods and communities throughout the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

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