SCSU NAACP chapter will host Juvenile Justice and Youth Expo in March
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
Southern’s chapter of the NAACP will be hosting its first annual Juvenile Justice and Youth Expo on March 12, 2015 in the Adanti Student Center Ballroom. The Expo will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This event provide awareness to the students here at SCSU and the New Haven community at large on the messages of unity, compassion, leadership and selfless services to inner city youth and overall hope for a better and brighter future in accordance to the theme of helping to eradicate youth violence, said event coordinator, Montrel Morrison.
“We are not only having youth service providing agencies coming from local communities and the State of Connecticut,” said Morrison. “This event will also feature some of Southern’s organizations that play an essential role in student life on campus such as the Women’s Center and some others who will be in attendance.”
The event will feature the previously mentioned messages through the vein of various forms of art including dance/drill performances, live music and a strong presence of the youth leaders and their respected youth organizations.
The entertainment will be provided by outside organizations as well as some of Southern’s fraternities.
“Participants will have the opportunity to meet youth service providers and agencies and hear the many services they provide to the youth.” said Morrison.
The goal of the Juvenile Justice and Youth Expo is to make the community as aware as possible of the service available to them.
The NAACP is taking a spin on this concept to focus on the “giant” topic of violence.
“The theme to the first annual Southern Connecticut State University-NAACP Juvenile Justice and Youth Expo is called ‘There is A Giant in My City,’ which is in reference to bringing awareness to the critical issue of youth violence in the City of New Haven and all across of America.” said Morrison.
The Keynote Speaker for this year’s expo is Reverend William Mathis, former project manager of Project Longevity.
According to Project Longevity’s website, projectlongevity.org, it is “a Community and Law Enforcement initiative to reduce serious violence in three of Connecticut’s major cities: New Haven, Bridgeport, and Hartford.”
The project offers addiction services, medical and mental health treatment, educational opportunities, housing, employment, and other services which are offered through the partnered social service providers.
“This initiative does good thing for the community,” said Morrison, “because it helps individuals get out of a life of crime by helping them go to school, get housing, among other resources that some local individuals need in order to succeed and live a positive life in society.”
The night will also feature performances by a local youth drill team, a local youth drumline, a youth after-school choir that features children in the Elm City doing something positive and productive, said Morrison.
“All three of these youth performances are among some of the best in the City of New Haven. They have all won Nationals and other high ranking awards that make them exclusive. The groups feature youths starting from seven years old all the way up to young adults.” said Morrison.
“The hopes are to leave everyone who attends energized, inspired and with some credible knowledge and perspective,” said Morrison. “Youths do have a chance of succeeding, despite the many extreme barriers that attribute to youth violence in New Haven and America in general today.”