YouthConference_flyer-1New York (April 12, 2013) — New York City Mission Society, a multi-service community-based organization that takes a comprehensive approach to helping New York City’s children and families break the cycle of poverty, is excited to announce its Get Connected Uptown Youth Conference & Leadership Service Fair. The two-day event will kick off with a youth march and rally against violence on Friday, April 26 at 5:30 PM from the Minisink Townhouse, 646 Malcolm X Boulevard to Harlem Hospital, 506 Lenox Avenue. The march will culminate with a screening at Harlem Hospital of independent documentary film Triggering Wounds, the real life story of a young man from Harlem coming to terms with the impact of gun violence on his life and his community.

The annual Get Connected Uptown Youth Conference & Leadership Service Fair began in 2003 as a partnership between New York City Mission Society and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, as a way to connect youth ages 13-24 to resources such as youth development and adolescent health. This year the conference is expected to attract over 300 children and young adults with a specific focus on leadership and community service.

As gun and gang violence continue to plague the community, the youth conference serves as an outlet for positive change and is New York City Mission Society’s response to empowering young people to bring about transformation. “We believe that the voice of an organized youth is a powerful instrument for reaching disconnected peers with a message of hope and a call for peace in Harlem,” said Courtney Bennett, Director of Minisink Townhouse.

The conference and fair will also include workshops, health screenings, theatre repertoire, raffles, food and games and is a partnership with various local organizations such as Harlem Hospital, New York Department of Youth & Community Development, Impact Theatre, Hip-Hop Culture Center in Harlem, Harlem United, and Public Allies.