To jumpstart the weekend, the commission will hold a youth empowerment summit Jan. 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the H.J. Bowden Center, 2885 Church St. in East Point.
“The focus of the summit is stopping the violence,” said Greg Fann, a member of the commission. “The summit will deal with the kinds of behavior that many youth display that is counterproductive to our society.”
Various workshops will be offered for youth to participate in, including talks on bullying, drugs, gang violence and a special talk highlighting more effective ways to communicate.
Local leaders and officials will also be on hand to help foster the discussion.
“We will have the East Point Municipal Court Judge Rashida Oliver there to speak to the youth about the judicial system,” said Fann.
Parents also will have an opportunity to get involved with the summit.
Fann said there will also be workshops for parents to gather techniques on interacting with their children in today’s “violent society.”
To register or learn more information about the summit, those interested can call (404) 762-1489.
The weekend will continue with a service at New Jerusalem Baptist Church, 383 Paines Ave. Northwest in Atlanta, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m.
Along with a talk from Love Whelchel, PhD, professor of church history at the Interdenominational Theological Center, on stopping the violence, the program will feature acknowledgements.
“[Whelchel] will speak to us around the whole theme of violence and what we need to do to halt the violence,” said Fann. “We will also be recognizing certain people in the community for their work with nonviolence and bringing about a healthy and safe community.”
Fann pinpointed why both the youth empowerment summit and the program are important.
“[It is important] because it recognizes Dr. King and his teaching about nonviolence,” he said. “We have to learn to get along in our society without being harmful to one another, verbally and physically.”
Part of doing that, said Fann, is proper leadership.
“They way we act and treat each other perpetuate violence,” he said. “We have to watch what we say and how we treat one another.”