FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 11, 2014
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department recently teamed up with the United States Attorney’s Office, the Boston Police Department, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston Centers for Youth & Families and the Boston Public Schools to hold a series of violence prevention contests in recognition of National Youth Violence Prevention Week.
National Youth Violence Prevention Week is a weeklong national education initiative to raise awareness and to educate students, teachers, school administrators, counselors, school resource officers, school staff, parents, and the public on effective ways to prevent or reduce youth violence.
In an event held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury to honor contest winners and to promote nonviolence, attendees watched the finished products from the Anti–Violence Hip Hop Video Contest for high school students from across the City of Boston. In addition, winners for the poetry contest for middle school students and an artwork contest for elementary students were also announced.
The event included speeches by Sheriff Tompkins, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, District Attorney Dan Conley, Boston Police Department Superintendent Randall Halstead, and Reverend Jeff Brown as well as entertainment from JAM’N 94.5 and a dance–off led by Wyatt Jackson and his dance troupe.
Winning the Hip Hop Video Contest awards were: Lavelle Duncan, third–place; Karon Wilson, second–place; and Elijah Joy, who took first–place, along with a $400 Target gift card, four Red Sox tickets, and air play on JAM’N 94.5’s “Launch Pad,” with his video to be uploaded to JAMN’ 94.5’s blog and social media page. The second–place winner received a $250.00 Target gift card and four Red Sox Tickets, and the third–place winner received a $150.00 Target gift card.
Addressing the 200–plus attendees at the event, Sheriff Tompkins spoke about being part of this creative event targeted towards decreasing violence in the community and assured the young people in attendance that their participation in the event was a step in the right direction.
“What you’re doing here today, this work that you are involved in, is what you’re supposed to be doing,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “You have to be able to create your own opportunities. You cannot wait for people to give you something. Your participation in these contests, what it says to me is that you’re using your brains and talents in a very constructive and positive way. When you do this, other folks see it and follow you. If you have siblings, friends or cousins, they will see what you’re trying to accomplish and they will want to emulate it. So, make sure you continue to do what you’re doing here, and know that you have folks here that stand behind you.”