Marian Wright Edelman coming to Seattle for “summit”

West Seattle is one of the city’s three focus areas for the Youth Violence Prevention Initiative – as discussed during last Thursday’s City Council town-hall meeting in Fauntleroy — so anything related to it is news here, even if it’s an event happening in another part of the city, like this one: It’s just been announced that Marian Wright Edelman is coming to Seattle for a YVPI summit next Tuesday in the Rainier Valley – read on for the official announcement:

The news release from the mayor’s office:

Mayor Greg Nickels announced today that he will convene a
youth violence prevention summit on July 7, 2009. The keynote speaker
will be Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s
Defense Fund and a nationally recognized advocate for disadvantaged

Last fall, Nickels proposed the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention
Initiative with the goal of reducing incidents of youth violence by 50
percent. In his State of the City speech last February, Nickels promised
to hold a summit to explore best practices and call our entire community
to action.

“This gathering will bring together parents, young people and
community members to motivate and support each other in our efforts,”
said Nickels. “We are fundamentally changing the way we prevent youth
violence. It will take everyone working together to engage our young
people and offer them a better path.”

With the theme “Inspiring Hope and Making Change,” the summit
begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club/Rainier
Valley Teen Center, located at 4520 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Other
speakers include Nickels and Mariko Lockhart, director of the Seattle
Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. The summit will also include young
people performing and reading poetry. Community groups will staff a
resource fair to sign up volunteers and provide help for families in

“The summit will continue our community-wide conversation about youth
violence and demonstrate the city’s strong desire to protect our
children, to listen to them, and to provide them with options for the
future. It will also be an opportunity to support those in the community
who are saying loud and clear that violence is not acceptable and must
stop,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess who chairs the Council’s Public
Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee.

Nickels proposed the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative as
part of his 2009-2010 budget, and the City Council approved $8 million
for the effort. The initiative focuses on about 800 youth who are at
highest risk of perpetuating violence or becoming victims. The goal is
to reduce youth violence in half during the initiative’s first year of

The initiative seeks to help young people at difficult points in their

● Re-entering society from state or county detention programs.
● Arrested for crimes but released because they don’t meet the
admission criteria for county detention.
● Middle school truants and students at risk of suspension.
● Victims of violence and their friends and relatives who may seek to

Seattle’s initiative includes a new approach to street outreach with
the use of violence interrupters who are privy to information on the
street and may actually prevent violent acts and retaliation before they

The initiative also calls for establishing extended hours at some youth
centers, giving children a safe place to go, or be taken, to stay out of
trouble. In addition to case management, anger management and recreation
programming, the city will support more community-based projects that
engage and mentor young people. In April, four Seattle police officers
were assigned to four middle schools to focus on crisis intervention,
guidance, and mentoring.

For more information about the initiative:

2 Replies to "Marian Wright Edelman coming to Seattle for "summit""

  • diane June 30, 2009 (4:48 pm)

    I received a flyer for this event from some of the youth at last week’s city council town meeting about youth violence
    there is no mention of the mayor or any of the other local city/political folks on the flyer
    the flyer, rightly so, is all about the keynote, Marian Wright Edelman, and our YOUTH
    Marian Wright Edelman has been an idol of mine for years; very excited about seeing her in person, and hearing from the young people

  • WSB June 30, 2009 (4:51 pm)

    Well, they sent the news release, and that’s the first official word we received. I was at last week’s event and don’t recall seeing/receiving the flyer – but figured upon seeing this today that regardless of the context, there would indeed be people interested in seeing this very distinguished woman speak here in Seattle – TR

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