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Center for Spirituality and Professionalism to Host Youth Violence Prevention Summit

Because the Virgin Islands has experienced such a rise in the rate of violence, the University of the Virgin Islands Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism (CSAP), in partnership with the award-winning anti-trafficking, sexual violence and youth crime prevention agency More Too Life Inc., will host the first Youth Violence Prevention Summit. Themed “Working for Change: A Peace Initiative,” the summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27, in the Great Hall on Albert A. Sheen Campus, St. Croix, and Wednesday, June 28, in the Administration and Conference Center Building, Room 142, St. Thomas Campus.

CSAP is holding this summit to raise the awareness of the community and provide sustainable solutions and strategies. “It is our hope to work together with government agencies, private entities and community organizations to reduce violence in our territory and promote peace through our various offerings, and utilize the insights and expertise of university scholars and community leaders,” said Dr. Wendy Coram Vialet, director of CSAP. “We look forward to a productive and engaging summit and continued collaboration between the university and the V.I. community.”

The topics to be discussed include: Current Prevention Strategies, The Politics of Gun Violence, Youth Violence Prevention, Mental Health in Today’s Pop Culture, Human Trafficking Challenges, The Role of the Faith-Based Community in Violence Prevention, Care Management for Today’s Youth, Addicted Victims, and Violators.

The summit will feature guest speakers: Dr. Brook Bello, Sen. Dwayne Degraff, Sen. Novelle Francis, Anne Gaines, Pastor Lennox Zamore and Pastor Carlos Perkins.

Dr. Brook Bello is the founder and CEO of More Too Life. She is an author, innovative thought leader, filmmaker, actress and human rights activist.  She is a sought after motivational speaker, teacher and minister who has been recognized for her powerful work. She has had articles written about her in Ebony and Essence Magazines. Bello received a Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama at the White House.

Anne Gaines is currently employed by the Sarasota Department of Health as a Healthy Start Care coordinator, providing free and confidential service for pregnant women, infants and young children. She is committed to More Too Life and to its mission of helping the victims of all forms of human trafficking and sexual violence, while implementing prevention methods to change the way America views exploitation.

Sen. Dwayne DeGraff was a part of the Virgin Islands National Guard and the Virgin Islands Police Department. He has served as a police officer, police sergeant, zone commander, member of a special operations bureau and deputy chief of police. In addition, he was assigned to several other units to include the first marine unit and first joint task force unit with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force where he served as a cross designated federal agent. Over the years, DeGraff has served as a community leader and activist, and has organized numerous island-wide community clean-up initiatives. He presently serves as a senator in the 35th Virgin Islands Legislature.

Rev. Carlos Wesley Perkins, a native of Jamaica, is the leader of St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church on St. Croix. St. Luke has made great strides in spirituality, education, administration, technology and ministry expansion.

To register for the Youth Violence Prevention Summit, visit http://csap.uvi.edu. The registration fee is $35.

CSAP is an initiative of the UVI’s Office of the President, established to promote the integration of spirituality and professionalism for a greater understanding and adoption of principles: compassion, caring, transformation, service, responsible judgment, honesty and intelligence. Its mission is to create and sustain a harmonious environment for students, faculty and the university in concert with the wider V.I. community and the Caribbean. It strives to be proactively sensitized to the importance of spirituality and professionalism in a wider context.

For more information contact, the Office of the President at 693-1003 or at http://csap.uvi.edu

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