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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 26 April 2024

As part of the 2024 National Youth Violence Prevention Week, the Multnomah County Prevention and Health Promotion Community Adolescent Health Team will gather with youth, community members and interfaith leaders Sunday, April 28, to commemorate youth affected by violence and foster unity and healing.

The event will take place at Augusta Lutheran Church: 2710 NE 14th Avenue, Portland, OR 97212, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 28.

The interfaith memorial will leverage the power of music and poetry, offering a platform for reflection and remembrance. Local faith leaders will lead the event, emphasizing the importance of de-escalation and prevention efforts, unity and resilience in the face of adversity.

“We are deeply committed to supporting the well-being of our youth and fostering a sense of unity and resilience in our community,” said Charlene McGee, County Prevention and Health Promotion Director. “This event provides an opportunity to come together, across faiths and our diverse communities, to honor the memories of those we have lost and reaffirm our commitment to preventing youth violence.”

A candlelight vigil will be a central part of the service, with a symbolic bell ringing to honor the lives of youth lost to violence, both locally and nationally. This solemn moment will serve as a reminder of the ongoing need for community support and action to prevent further tragedies.

“In times of tragedy, it is essential for us to come together as a community to support one another and find solace in our shared humanity,” said Pastor Mark Knutson, Augustana Lutheran Church. “This interfaith service offers a space for healing, reflection and renewal as we honor the lives of youth affected by violence.”

The County’s youth work is funded by Preventing Violence Affecting Young Lives (PREVAYL) Grant. Through the PREVAYL grant, the public health division employs an upstream public health approach. The division focuses on identifying and implementing policies, systems and environmental changes using a framework that addresses shared risk and protective factors. This comprehensive strategy aims to address the root causes of violence, related social determinants of health and create a safer environment for young people.

Members of the community are invited to attend the event to show their support for youth affected by violence and join in promoting peace and unity within our communities.

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