Juvenile gun violence is a growing national concern and our local law enforcement officers indicate that we are seeing an increase in violent crimes conducted by younger members of society. Statistics prove that more and more juveniles are committing crimes including violent gun crimes. This rise in juvenile crime corresponds with increased gang activity.
Last year, several anti-crime marches were held to raise awareness that something needs to be done. This year’s focus is to develop strategies that are proven to work. These strategies include but are not limited to empowering schools, churches, non-profits, parents, local government organizations and social agencies to stand united and work together to eliminate crimes committed by our youth.
The Lakeland Police Department has joined with The Education & Enlightenment Group, Inc., Stand Up Speak Out Foundation, as well as several church and community organizations to sponsor a weekend of youth anti-crime activities in Lakeland. The weekend activities include:
The Refuse 2 Lose Youth Summit: Thurs., June 23rd from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
New Mt. Zion M. B. Church, 1321 N. Webster Avenue
The Refuse 2 Lose Summit will feature a myriad of workshops geared toward grades K-12th with a concentrated focus on teens. These prevention and intervention workshops are designed to promote awareness and teach youth the consequences of their actions. The Keynote Speaker is Darrell Daniels, Executive Director of Derrick Brooks Charities.
Enough is Enough Youth Anti-Crime Rally: Fri., June 24th from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
The Freedom Center – 635 W. 5th Street
The program will include a march in the streets with highlights from community and City of Lakeland officials. Post-rally entertainment will include Sho Nuff Sounds, The Wilson Boyz, Leegit of 360 Entertainment Corporation, Crystal’s World of Dance, and Taken By Surprise Step Team. Also, youth organizations and Church youth groups will be asked to set up vendor booths to provide information about their programs. Prizes will be awarded to the youth groups that bring the largest delegation to participate in the rally.
The Stand Up Speak Out 3 on 3 Youth Basketball Tournament: Sat., June 25th from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Word Alive Ministries Vision Center - 1019 N. Tennessee Avenue
Crystal Brown founded the Stand Up Speak Out Foundation in honor of her father who was murdered almost two years ago. She is the owner of Crystal’s World of Dance and she is a Juvenile Probation Officer. This tournament will feature exhibits and speakers that will provide youth with information about the juvenile justice system and how it works. The basketball tournament is designed to promote teamwork.
For more information, please contact Lynne Simpkins at email@example.com or by phone 863/513-2712 and Deidra Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 863/934-0786.