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Researchers, Students, Gather in Hawaii For Violence Prevention Conference

Researchers, Students, Gather in Hawaii
For Violence Prevention Conference

More than 800 researchers, scholars, violence prevention professionals, community activists and students are expected to gather in Honolulu April 6-9 for “Navigating Pathways to Violence Prevention,” the sixth National Conference on Family Community Violence Prevention.

Sponsored by the Family and Community Violence Prevention program, a joint initiative of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, the conference features in-depth sessions discussing violence prevention from a variety of ethnic, cultural and racial perspectives.

There’s an impressive diversity in the slate of preconference workshops. Andrew Grascia, a criminal investigator with the White Plains, N.Y., Police Department will offer an introduction to gang dynamics. Meanwhile, Drs. Francisco Reveles of California State University-Sacramento and Howard D. Stevenson of the University of Pennsylvania will present interventions that are showing promise in at-risk Latino and African-American youth. And Jo Hally of the Native American Circle Ltd. and Dr. Julia Perilla of the National Latino Research Center on Domestic Violence will discuss domestic violence interventions.

As for the keynoters for the conference proper, they appear to have been chosen with an eye toward both expertise and star power. Dr. Garth Graham, the acting deputy assistant secretary for minority health at HHS, is representing the federal government. But speakers also include:

-The powerful motivational speaker, Patricia Russell-McCloud, author of A Is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living;

– Dr. Martin Brokenleg, director of Native Ministries and Professor of First Nations Theology and Ministry at the Vancouver School of Theology in Vancouver, British Columbia;

– William “Blinky” Rodriguez, who turned the loss of his son in a drive-by shooting into a community peace-building effort, the (San Fernando) Valley Unity Peace Treaty in effect for more than 10 years now; and Tommy Ford, an author/actor/youth advocate, who plays the role of the fun-loving father on UPN’s sitcom “The Parkers.”

Their presentations will anchor sessions of an almost dizzying variety exploring every imaginable aspect of the problem of family and community violence. There will be sessions exploring settings from home to school and community. Speakers will investigate youth aggression as well as youth suicide, violence against women and violence by women. Discussions will include the effects of fear and hopelessness on Black youth, and panels will delve into legal issues, ethnic and cultural approaches to prevention and faith-based solutions.

A panel on the hip-hop generation may well prove to be one of the most widely anticipated sessions of the conference. Titled “Violence, Sex and Drugs: Has Hip-Hop Become a Self-Destructive Force?” it will feature female rapper Rah Digga, former rap star Christopher “Kid” Reid of Kid ‘n’ Play as well as Bakari Kitwana, author and former editor of the hip-hop magazine, The Source, and author of The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture.

For more information on the conference — or to advertise or register as a vendor — please visit or call (888) 496-2669.

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