During hearings next week at the University of Miami, the Department of Justice's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence will gather testimony from national experts and Miami residents on the impact of violence on children in urban neighborhoods.
One of the speakers will be Professor Bernard P. Perlmutter, Director of the Children and Youth Law Clinic at Miami Law. Another will be Joe Torre, the former manager of the New York Yankees and an executive vice president for Major League Baseball, who as a child witnessed his father's abuse of his mother and prompted his crusade against domestic violence as an adult.
The task force is a key part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Defending Childhood initiative. Speakers will include Wifredo A. Ferrer, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; task force co-chairs Joe Torre and Robert Listenbee Jr.; and Bryan Samuels, Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
MONDAY, MARCH 19:
5 p.m.-7 p.m. Public Testimony: The task force will hear from professionals and community members.
TUESDAY, MARCH 20:
8:30 a.m. Opening Remarks: Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Florida; Joe Torre, founder of the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation; Robert Listenbee Jr., Chief of the Juvenile Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia; Marilyn Roberts, Deputy Administrator for Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; Bernard P. Perlmutter, Director of Children and Youth Law Clinic, University of Miami School of Law; The Honorable Cindy S. Lederman, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Court of Miami-Dade County.
9 a.m. The Child Welfare System and Children's Exposure to Violence: Bryan Samuels, Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
9:30 a.m. Interrupting the Cycle of Violence: Local Leaders' Panel: Dwight Jones, mayor of Richmond, Va.; Mark Luttrell Jr., mayor of Shelby County, Tenn.
Witnesses will describe the solutions they are implementing to address high rates of violence and to improve economic and social conditions in their communities.
10:45 a.m. Children's Experiences of Violence in Highly Impacted Communities: Roy Martin, Senior Youth Development Specialist, Youth Development Network, Boston Public Health Commission; Maj. Eddie Levins, Executive Sponsor, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, N.C.; Sarah Greene, Program Administrator, Criminal Justice Partnerships, Mecklenburg County, N.C.; Dawn L. Brown, Executive Director, Girls and Gangs.
Witnesses will discuss the physical and psychological impact on children living in communities with high levels of violence and factors that have a strong influence on the various outcomes these children experience.
1 p.m. Immigrant and At-Risk Youth Exposed to Violence: Creating Successful Responses: Laura Kallus, Executive Director, PanZOu Project, Inc.; Carolyn Reyes, Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Services for Children; Lyn Tan, Program Director, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization; Dr. Michael de Arellano, Professor and Licensed Clinical Psychologist, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina.
Witnesses will provide information on the challenges the children of immigrants face in their schools, communities and families, and will discuss ways to address those challenges.
2:30 p.m. Working Meeting.
5:15 p.m. Closing Remarks.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21:
8:45 a.m.-noon Interactive Discussion on Children Exposed to Violence: Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice; Judge Michael J. Ryan, Cleveland Municipal Court; Vicki Spriggs, Chief Executive Officer, Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates.
Witnesses will debate and discuss the complex ethical, emotional, legal and public policy questions raised by children's exposure to violence, as highlighted in a hypothetical story.
1:15 p.m. Working Meeting.
3 p.m. Closing Remarks
Students and the public are welcome to attend the hearings, which will take place in the University of Miami's Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables.