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Violence the Focus of Teen Summit

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Erin Berry (L) and Amura Cameron talk candidly about violence.
DURHAM — We all know that teen violence is a big problem in the community, but whatdo teens have to say about it? Saturday at the Durham Youth Summit teenstalked openly about their experiences and discussed their concerns relatedto teen violence.

"Just like they do in Washington, D.C.," participant Alphonza Thomasexplains, "with teen summit, we can do the same here in Durham, NorthCarolina."

And they are. In the Bull City, teens are talking to adults and each other. It's called the Durham Youth Summit. Keith Moore and some of hisco-workers started the program a few months ago with the idea that if theylend an ear, they can also end up lending a hand.

Thomas believes it's important for teenagers to interact with adultsin the community and to tell them what they think, so adults can do something about it.

"I'm very open to discussing this kind of topic or any kind of topic withadults who are willing to understand and respect my opinion," saysparticipant, Erin Berry.

Amura Cameron. thinks frank, honest discussions like that at the teensummit provide teens with a place to go when there's nowhere else to turn.

"You can't tell your parents everything," says Cameron. "You tell your friends you trust and adults that won't get loud and start yelling."

Because it's the teen summit, participants can talk openly and freely. And at the Youth Summit, they know someone is listening. The groupdiscusses various topics that teens feel are important in their lives. Their next meeting is in December.

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