Efforts to stop youth violence are being fought on multiple fronts, in various ways and in numerous cities and communities. One of the national campaigns – the Do the Write Thing Challenge – gathered and paused for an assessment in Memphis this weekend.
Around the United States, the Do the Write Thing (DtWT) challenge involves thousands of volunteers in citywide and statewide programs. The focus is twofold – engage middle school students and learn what they think causes a young person to become violent, and then to take steps with youth to prevent such violence from happening.
With that in mind, the chairpersons of efforts involving 46 states met at the Peabody Hotel downtown on Saturday (Feb. 22nd). All came ready to share what they are doing, the challenges they're facing and the opportunities they've discovered or created. It's one of two annual meetings and the first in Memphis in about seven years, according to City Councilman Harold Collins, coordinator of the Memphis and Shelby County program. Shelby County District Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich chairs the Memphis program.