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Somerville Youth Peace Conference to address gangs, addiction

Posted by Matt Byrne  April 24, 2012 10:04 AM

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This Saturday, the Somerville Youth Peace Conference is expected to draw hundreds of area teens for a day of discussion and action against gangs and bullying, organizers said.

The conference will include addresses by Ashley Mento, who will discuss her parents' drug addictions; Jair Morales, who will speak about his journey to citizenship; and a spoken-word performance about the degradation of women and male-female relationships in popular music.

Guests expected to join the audience include Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and members of the state legislative delegation.

More than 30 youth working with the Somerville Center for Teen Empowerment organized the conference, which was inspired by a similar program in Boston that began in 1993 that produced a lasting truce among five rival gangs.

The event is slated to run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Somerville High School, and is open to the public. Tickets are $3, and will be available at the door.

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