Nashville, TN — Being a teenager is very exciting with being exposed to new opportunities and seeing the world with limitless possibilities. Yet for some local teens this journey is laced with obstacles like homelessness, discrimination, teen pregnancy, bullying, gang violence, teen domestic violence, self-esteem, drugs and alcohol only to name a few.
On Saturday March 26, 2011, the Community Take Back Initiative Task Force (CTBI) in collaboration with Nashville Community Coalition for Youth Safety (NCCYS) by IMF Peniel hosted the first annual Real Talk Real Teen Action Summit. The RTRT summit was organized the Community Take Back Initiative Task Force (CTBI), which is collaboration of individuals and local organizations and agencies from across Middle Tennessee.
This one day event brought out almost 100 youth between the ages of 13 - 18 to the Tennessee State University Avon Williams campus where this event was held. Created for youth by youth, Real Talk Real Teen Action Summit was designed to generate youth driven dialogue and provide immediate access to local resources that address some of the pressing safety issues our local youth.
The summit’s workshops, included topics like “Creative Expression through Spoken Word” facilitated by Youth Speaks Nashville, “College Readiness” hosted by the Oasis Center and “Erasing the Stigma” facilitated by Tennessee Voices for Children, and “Beyond the Influence of Gang Violence” facilitated by the Preston Taylor Boys and Girls Club.
During lunch, the youth were taught about nutrition and healthy eating choices by M.A.D.E. Fitness after which they created collages that represent how they view themselves and their peers.
Organizers later arranged for the youth to travel next door to the downtown YMCA for the “Teen Shine” talent showcase. This talent platform not only spotlighted the youth eager to display their gifts and talents but also provided an opportunity for them to bond their peers over days event. . For more information about the Real Talk Real Teen Action Summit, email CTBINasahville@gmail.com or visit the website at http://realtalkrealteens.webs.com/