This week Memphis, along with nine other cities, will participate in a Department of Justice national forum work session to address the reduction of youth violence, gang activity, and improve public safety.
Launched in 2010 at the direction of President Barack Obama, the forum is a network of communities and federal agencies that share information and support local efforts to prevent and reduce youth violence.
The 10 cities will participate in a working session and highlight their strategies to address youth violence at a national summit in Washington, D.C., next spring.
MORE: Preventing Youth Violence website
The cities participating are Memphis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Camden, N.J., Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Salinas, Calif.; and San Jose, Calif.
The forum's federal partners include the Departments of Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Labor; the Corporation for National and Community Service; and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Since the forum began, the cities have leveraged new partnerships with foundations and private corporations to prevent youth violence and have initiated a number of programs for youth and families in their communities. Earlier this year, Casey Family Programs sponsored activities for forum youth representatives at the national summit in Washington, D.C. Additionally, retail company Target awarded grants of $10,000 to the six forum sites to hire a youth director in each community.
The participating cities have also partnered with community organizations, including a partnership in Salinas with a local college for a Science Engineering Mathematics and Aerospace Academy that served 2,000 students this past summer. And in San Jose, the city started a media training program for area youth that enables young people to interview leaders in their community.