NEWARK, NJ — A youth-led Town Hall, “Heal Our City, Heal Our Nation,” will be on Saturday, Nov. 19, at noon, at Audible, 1 Washington Place, downtown Newark.
Led by the Newark Youth Ambassadors, the Town Hall will enable Newark youth to discuss issues that affect them in a constructive environment that promotes safe conversations on issues affecting their generation and encourages them to develop solutions to these concerns.
“We are engaging Newark’s youth in ways which will facilitate important life skills, such as critical thinking and transformational leadership,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “They are our future leaders and they have been and will continue to be faced with issues that evade outdated modes of operation. We are creating an environment where they can dialogue creatively on about what is affecting them now, how they respond to it and the changes they seek.”
The two-hour forum will focus on concerns such as the impact of social media and the rise of cyberbullying; debt slavery and how the costs of higher education limit today’s youths’ access to higher education; and the long-term effects of violence on urban communities.
“We engage young people in the process of dialogue and create a space to have a platform to utilize safe, thought-provoking conversation,” said Newark Prevention Specialist Alexis Trusty. “We talk at them, but don’t listen to them. The goal of this event is to allow them to facilitate and achieve beneficial dialogue on everything from the violence in their communities to the ways in which they can become a part of the leadership of our city.”
Host, personality and television producer Valerie Lora will moderate the event with Newark Youth Ambassador Shakira McKnight.
Other guest moderators include:
- Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, founder and president of the GRASSroots Foundation
- Mateus Baptista, policy advisor, the Office of Mayor Baraka
- Monica Hall, Seton Hall, Victoria Foundation
- Andre Johnson, owner of Fitness4Life
- Egypt Criss, star of reality show “Growing Up Hip Hop” and daughter of Sandra “Pepa” Denton from Salt-N-Pepa