A few weeks back, Lydia and I went to the Keeping our Kids Safe conference run by the Safe Community Task Force. This was a two-day conference at Clark College, for community members, students, families, organizations like PAL, Boys and Girls club and all other professionals alike.
The first day of the conference started with an amazing keynote speaker Vazaskia Crockrell. Vazaskia is the current director for the Office of Juvenile Justice. She spoke very passionately about her work with youth throughout her career. She is currently working on a statewide strategic plan that will aim to decrease the amount of youth that enter the Washington juvenile justice system. Hearing her talk about her plan, and what they have already accomplished was inspiring for us. Vazaskia was really focused on the ‘why’ and the mission of her strategic plan.
Throughout the day there were multiple educational workshops and breakout sessions. They were all led by amazing people like, Steve Primas, Evelyn Maddox, Marcia Pere and Mario Servellon. A few of the sessions in particular: “Developing a youth council”, “Gang 101” and “Understanding Gang culture/individual mindset” were particularly informative, eye opening and interesting to listen in on. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the “Youth Panel” workshop, but I heard amazing things about it, and I know next year I will definitely prioritize attending that workshop!
Overall, I would say we had a very positive experience at the Keeping our Kids Safe conference. We were able to gain useful knowledge and new perspectives. We were also able to learn from other like-minded people who all share in the same desire of making our community a safer place.