2014 Peace by Piece Summit!

Nearly 100 students from the Resiliency Preparatory School, Saint Vincent’s Home, and the YouthBuild programs in Fall River and New Bedford gathered at the old Kuss Middle School for the sixth annual Peace By Piece Summit on May 9, 2014. Sponsored by the Fall River Shannon Community Safety Initiative, Southcoast Hospitals, United Neighbors and Partners, this year’s event offered an opportunity to engage youth in a discussion of how violence impacts them and to talk openly about how they are dealing with the impact of  violence in their lives. Youth reflected on their experiences with violence, gang involvement and substance abuse. Discussion was facilitated by leaders of the Foundation Movement, a Boston-based anti-violence group led by Banjineh “Op” Browne and Ernesto “Eroc” Arroyo. The program began with a video that detailed the story of Janet Connors whose 19-year-old son, Joel, was murdered during a home invasion in Boston in 2001. She now devotes her life to teaching “restorative justice,” a philosophy that encourages forgiveness when wrongdoers accept accountability.

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Photos, video, and write-up courtesy of Dave Weed

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