Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Collaborative Efforts by Students Foster an Inclusive and Positive School Environment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. Attorney Dena J. King announced a successful partnership between her office and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) to host a youth engagement summit aimed at high school students. This event was organized as part of the U.S. Attorney's Office "United Against Hate" (UAH) initiative.

The summit, held at the Queens University Sports Complex and Conference Center, brought together approximately 150 students from various Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools. Its primary objective was to educate students about identifying, reporting, and preventing hate crimes and other civil rights violations. Additionally, the summit provided a platform for students to share their experiences, exchange ideas, and collectively work towards fostering a positive school environment. Students were encouraged to develop innovative solutions that promote inclusivity and equity for all members of their school community.

"Our aim today was to empower our students as future leaders in our communities. We challenged them to recognize their role as agents of change and envision a society free from hate. I urge all students to find their voice and speak out against hate, even when it does not directly affect them. Let us reject hate and unite in our pursuit of inclusion and equality," stated Dena J. King, United States Attorney.

Throughout the program, students received valuable insights from prominent speakers including Alex Pyun from Mecklenburg County Community Support Services, Haeley Robinson from Time Out Youth, John Coucelman from CMS, and Daniel Cervantes from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

During interactive group sessions, students openly discussed concerns regarding their school culture and collaborated on strategies to support one another and improve their overall school experience. They were also encouraged to consider how they could utilize the knowledge gained to develop actionable plans addressing their school's specific needs.

This summit represents just one of many outreach and educational events organized by the U.S. Attorney's Office as part of the Justice Department's UAH initiative, a nationwide program aimed at combatting the increasing incidence of unlawful hate acts. On May 27, 2021, U.S. Attorney

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