Youth Summit Day in the Berkshires

Pittsfield Youth Summit
Youth-Focused Workshops
Saturday, Sept. 8th, 2012

Free Pittsfield Youth Summit happens Saturday Sept 8th with youth-focused workshops and keynote speaker, former NBA star, Jayson Williams. In cooperation with Healing Winds and a local group that is working to reestablish the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Jayson Williams, a powerful and dynamic motivational speaker will give the keynote talk at the Youth Summit at 9:30am. Mr. Jayson Williams is the author of “Humbled: Letters from Prison,” and speaks to groups about his experiences as a professional basketball player, the decisions and circumstances that ended his career and sent him to jail, and the efforts that he has made at redemption since his release.

A coalition of city departments, community organizations, and adults and youth from the local community have come together in hopes of developing strategies to empower our youth, facilitate communication between adolescents and adults, demonstrate and teach civic responsibility, and increase community accountability. The group, called the Coalition for Greater Community Collaboration, has organized a free Pittsfield Youth Summit, to be held on Saturday, September 8th, from 8:30am to 4:30pm at Berkshire Community College (1350 West St.) in Pittsfield, MA.

The Summit is free to all Pittsfield area youth ages 13 to 20, and free bus transportation will be provided. It begins at 8:30am with registration and a continental breakfast, followed by welcoming remarks from Pittsfield Mayor Daniel Bianchi and others.

Following the keynote talk at 9:30am, attendees will have a choice of workshops followed by lunch (provided at no cost to attendees) and another workshop session. Workshop choices sessions include youth/police relations; health, nutrition and fitness, money management; race and identity; art and music; how to find and keep a job; and more.

In the evening Berkshire Youth Summit Nite Show at Berkshire Community College will be offered at 8pm, free to attendees and $5 for the general public. Performers will include Cloud9, Youth Alive, hip hop dancers Mackenzie Buckley and Julius Reese, local singer-songwriter Christine Bile, and special guest rappers Buddha Da Great from New York City, and Young Gwop Rapper, Hartford, along with others. 

The Pittsfield Youth Summit’s lead sponsors include Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Bank Foundation, Greylock Federal Credit Union, the City of Pittsfield, Berkshire Community College, and others. Members of the Coalition for Greater Community Collaboration, consists of local adolescents, youth advocates, the Pittsfield Police Department, Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development, Berkshire Rocks, Multicultural BRIDGE, Healing Winds and many other local partners. Special thanks to Massive Graphics for designing the event logo.

The coalition will continue to meet and develop other initiatives to accomplish some of their goals. Among the projects that have been identified are an adolescent drop in center, athletic based mentoring, and the reinstatement of the Pittsfield Youth Commission. For more information, visit http://coalition.pittsfieldpd.org or call 413-841-8770.

– Submitted by Shirley Edgerton

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