October 30, 2018, East Orange, NJ: Mayor Ted R. Green, the East Orange City Council and the East Orange School District are hosting an inaugural “Keep It Real” Youth Community Meeting, the first of a series of meetings, to engage students in an open, student-led dialogue about issues, concerns and solutions affecting young people in the City of East Orange.
The meeting will be held at STEM Academy, 129 Renshaw Avenue, on Thursday, November 1, at 5pm. Doors open at 4:30pm. All are welcome to attend.
The idea to host the meeting was sparked following the Citywide Community Forum in September when a group of students approached the mayor with a request to have a meeting of their own. Among the issues to be addressed in the series of meetings include gang and drug awareness, gun violence, juvenile incarceration, cyberbullying, mental health, job opportunities and LGBTQ youth.
“This meeting is about them. Not us. We want to provide our young people with a platform to candidly speak about what’s important to them and their families. Too often, adults don’t take the time to really listen and issues are never resolved,” said Mayor Green. “I want to first listen to concerns and then focus on finding solutions. The only way we can truly make change —especially for our future — is to connect and engage with our youth. Their voice matters.”
Mayor Green will serve as moderator and the meeting will be led by students representing East Orange Campus High, STEM Academy and Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts.
“This meeting is important because we need to make our community more inclusive of our youth and bring us to the forefront,” said Keyshawn Davis, a senior at Tyson. “Together, we can address issues affecting young people as well as prominent issues that affect us all.”