Archive for Friday, January 3, 2003

Summit to focus on youth issues

Events to promote safe, healthy environment for children in county

January 3, 2003


It's been almost two years since 1,800 Lawrence-area residents gathered at the Lied Center for a summit on how to make Lawrence a better place to live.

Now, a follow-up summit -- called "Building a Better Community: Taking the Next Steps for Our Youth" -- is in the works.

"The first summit sort of showed us the importance of having a sense of community, the second one will look at how we can make that happen and how we can build on what's already here," said Kristen Malloy, executive director at Lawrence-Douglas County Promise, a child advocacy group and summit co-sponsor.

The second summit will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at Lawrence High School. Admission is free.

Most of the day's events -- forums, panel discussions and featured speakers -- will focus on ways to ensure safe, healthy and caring lives for children in Lawrence and Douglas County.

Keynote speaker will be Harris Wofford, who helped organize the Peace Corps in 1961, later becoming its associate director. He also had a hand in launching the National Civilian Community Corps.

Wofford, a Democrat, represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate from 1991 to 1994. Since 1996, he's been with the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Former Kansas City Chiefs kicker Nick Lowery will moderate a panel discussion on children's issues.

The summit is expected to coincide with the start of deep cuts in state spending on social services, many of which will affect children in low-income families.

"We are in a budget crisis, that's true," said Karla Kral, a spokeswoman for Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, a summit co-sponsor. "But all of us, I think, remain committed to building partnerships within the community in ways that may not cost a lot of money but strengthen our commitment to children."

If you goFor more information, call 842-5006 or see To reserve a free lunch during the summit, call 843-7058.

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