City hosts youth summit at to address Chicago violence, source solutions from community

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The city of Chicago and Mayor Lightfoot hosted a Summer Action Summit for youth at Malcom X College.

Violence prevention was the focus.

"We need more active activities for our community," said panelist Phillissa Dawson.

The summit comes after the deadly shootings near McDonalds on Chicago's Near North Side last week and at Millennium Park just over a week ago.

"It's scary. You hear somebody passed," said panelist Danari Bowden.

But Mayor Lightfoot said this summit with young people and youth-centered organizations was already in the works before the recent events downtown.

"There are too many people that are losing their lives in this city because of foolishness related to a gun that somebody thought they needed to pick up to protect themselves," the mayor said.

Summit organizers said the gathering wasn't just about identifying the problems, the goal was to leave with a plan of action that will get results.

"There is a lot of talk around that this needs to happen and this particular thing needs to happen. The reality is, it is all of these things," said Pha'Tal Perkins with Think Outside Da Block.

Those who work with the youth said it's important to take the lead from young people on solutions to reducing violence.

"I can appreciate hearing the youth actually tell us what they need, what they see happening and then we really respond to the information that they shared with us," said Elizabeth Meyers with After School Matters.
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