MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An attack at a Memphis Kroger, an all-out brawl inside an apartment complex, a mother terrorized by a mob and and a violent lunchroom fight. These are just four examples of Mid-South teens making headlines for the wrong reasons. More than 500 students will do what is right to prevent more youth violence and empower their peers on Wednesday, Oct. 22.
Memphis Police Department's Community Outreach Program (COP) is presenting a Youth Crime Prevention and Empowerment Symposium. During this 6 1/2 hour event, more than 500 students will learn ways they can take responsibility for the safety, education, and success of their schools and communities.
The event follows several high profile cases of teen violence, like the teen mob attack at the Poplar Plaza Kroger in Memphis in September. The attack sparked a city-wide debate about youth violence and since then, there have been similar crimes and countless conversations on how to stop the violence.
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton initiated a series of youth empowerment forums, the last one was held near East High School on Sunday. One of the organizers said the forum, and events like it, give teens a voice.
The youth crime prevention and empowerment symposium on Wednesday is not part of Mayor Wharton's effort, but it shares a similar mission of keeping teens on the right track. Inspirational speakers at the symposium will address various topics including gang prevention and drugs and alcohol.
The symposium begins at 7:30 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church.