More than 65 students and their families took part in a basketball tournament, toured the UMass Boston campus, and talked about violence in their community with Attorney General Maura Healey on Sunday. UMass Boston hosted the first-ever All Star Anti-Violence Youth Summit, which was a collaboration between the Office of the Attorney General, The 3Point Foundation, Boston Public Schools, UMass Boston’s Division of Athletics and Recreation, Special Projects and Programs, and UMass Boston's College of Public and Community Service.
For the first half of the day, groups of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from Boston Public Schools took turns playing basketball in the Clark Athletic Center and taking part in an admissions presentation and tour. During the second part of the day, Healey spoke to the youth about violence and its effect on people, communities, and families, while stressing the fact that everyone can make a difference in combating violence. Although Healey was in attendance to speak to the youth, she also brought her basketball shoes.
Vice Chancellor of Athletics and Recreation, Special Projects and Programs Charlie Titus spoke about the importance of being a leader in the community and speaking up when violence is seen. Professor of Human Services and Youth Work Joan Arches and 24 of her students discussed the pain and destruction violence can cause. Urban Improv led a roleplay exercise, during which the students were put through many scenarios and asked how, why, and what would they do.
The goal of the event was to bring children, youth, decision makers and college students together to openly discuss causes of gun violence and defining gun violence, through words, pictures and essays. The information gained from the youth in attendance will be presented to the Attorney General's office at a later date.