On Saturday June 4th, S.O.S. Clergy Action Network hosted their 3rd annual Increase the Peace Community Youth Symposium in partnership with Brooklyn Clergy Action Network 2 Save Our Communities and the Medgar Evers College Beacon Program.

Approximately 100 people attended the event, held at P.S. 138 in Brooklyn. Those in attendance enjoyed the festivities and heard from various facilitators in breakout sessions for children, teens, and adults. The workshop classes were phenomenal with presenters such as Joan Austin (Flower Bomb: Female Self Image & She Didn’t Even Know It: Teenage Pregnancy), David Grant (Gun Violence Awareness), Dr. Chavon Tingle (Starting from the Bottom: Entrepreneurship), Dr. Karlene Barrett (Stop B4 You Drop) along with others like Barry Wiles and Mark Adams who jumped in to share their thoughts.

After the morning breakout sessions, everyone filled up on lunch while listening to remarks from State Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley and his son along with State Comptroller Scott Stringer’s representative Kenya Handy-Hilliard on preventative gun violence measures.

After lunch everyone in attendance came together in the auditorium and were thrilled by presentations by a musical dance troupe from Bedford Central Presbyterian Church, a drum line presentation by Rev Jolly & company, and a rap song by Lilman entitled “Stop The Violence”. These performances were followed by presentations by the Save Our Streets Street Teams as the auditorium sat in silence and took in their stories. Lastly there was a raffle for a pair of Beats headphones, which was a major point of excitement for the youth gathered in the auditorium.

Each year we host the Increase the Peace Symposium, our hope is to engage our youth and encourage them to stay away from gang and gun violence through positive reinforcement and by exposing them to the voices of the men and woman of the Save Our Streets teams.

We give special thanks to Rev. Edward Jenkins the committee chairperson and the entire committee who worked untiringly with our Clergy Liaison Rev. Kevin Jones.