Youth Summit Held at UMES to Address Teenage Violence - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Youth Summit Held at UMES to Address Teenage Violence

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Open panel discussion at Youth Summit (WBOC) Open panel discussion at Youth Summit (WBOC)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md,- Local youth and church leaders from across the Eastern Shore gathered at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Wednesday to tackle violence issues among Delmarva's teenagers. 

Black Methodists for Church Renewal hosted the African-American Youth Summit during its annual conference. Church leaders invited local middle school students to the summit to discuss how violence in their schools and community is impacting their lives, and how the church can help.

 Dr. Dianne Davis, who is the coordinator for the Black Methodists Church Renewal Conference, said open dialogue is an important first step.

"We felt it very important to connect with our young people, so we have invited students from the local middle school to talk about the whole culture of violence; we want to be apart of the solution," Davis said. 

One of the highlights of discussion: How social media is playing a role in teen violence. 

Tamara Renelus, a middle school student attending the conference, said, "People will post a fight on Instagram and they'll be commenting under it. If somebody lost they'll want a re-match or something and post that under the picture.They think that's OK because if they don't post it on social media it's no reason for them to be fighting. They say if they don't post it they don't see no reason to fight."

Many teenagers said most of the violence that happens is over small issues. Those attending the summit said mediation in schools is helpful, but more programs are needed. 

Church leaders said they plan to take the feedback from Wednesday's summit and work on developing community outreach programs across Delmarva. 

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