Haligonians to Convene at Inaugural Peace Forum
Community-Driven Action on Gun Violence, Relations with Police and the Criminalization of Black Youth on the Agenda
Over one-hundred Nova Scotians are slated to convene on January 21, 2017, for the inaugural Nova Scotian 2017 Peace Forum.
Taking place at the O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library, between 2 and 4 pm, the event will see community leaders, young artists, activists and visionaries, gathered to pay tribute to young Black Nova Scotian change makers, using the arts to bring peace to the province. The gathering will also serve as a safe and open space to enhance creative, community-driven and sustainable solutions to the scourge of gun violence, to issues of relations with police, and to youth incarceration, which disproportionately affects Black youth in the province.
Guest speakers include the Honourable Tony Ince, Minister of Community, Culture and Heritage, His Honour Michael Savage, Mayor of Halifax, Jean-Michel Blais, Chief of the Halifax Regional Police Force, and Lindell Smith, Halifax City Councillor. Young artists and activists including Halifax’s 2015 poet laureate El Jones, Stop the Violence movement head Quentrel Provo, Kate MacDonald of The Magic Project, Jody Upshaw and many more, have also confirmed.
“It is crucial to provide spaces where diverse groups can have conversations, share knowledge and spur community-driven action on issues affecting marginalized Nova Scotians,” says Bria Miller, Facilitator of the Justice, Art & Youth in Action Initiative Forum. “Ensuring youth input in the process demonstrates that young people, particularly young artists, have critical tools and strategies to offer for creating change. We must ensure that they have adequate support and are understood to be part of the solution.”
The 2017 Peace Forum is part of the Justice, Art and Youth in Action Initiative, which is the fruit of a partnership between the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and Youth Art Connection. Over the next few months, the Justice, Arts and Youth in Action Initiative Team will be hosting other peace forums focusing on Indigenous rights and reconciliation, violence experienced by LGBTQIAP2S+ peoples, and intimate partner violence, and canvassing the province to gather suggestions for an action plan that will support young people of a variety of backgrounds using arts to advance peace and justice across Nova Scotia.
Individuals and groups interested in attending can confirm their participation no later than 6 pm on January 18, 2017, by writing to JAYAinitiative@gmail.com.
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