Summit Academy Secondary School – Youngstown students, families and staff members came out in full force for the 11th Annual Nonviolence Parade and Rally in downtown Youngstown last weekend. Advocating for nonviolence at both events, students in the school’s flag line and GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) mentoring group embraced the opportunity to promote safety in their home city.
Greta Glenellen, culture coordinator for the school, says Summit Academy’s participation in local Ohio Nonviolence Week (October 3-9) events represents the school’s commitment to being part of the solution to violence.
“I feel it’s important for our students to be involved and help figure this out,” says Glenellen, referring to what she describes as a period of high violent crime in the city. She adds that students are engaging in conversations with other school students, and political and civic leaders to bring about change.
Several Summit Academy Youngstown Secondary students submitted entries for the Ohio Nonviolence Week Art and Poetry Contest. Summit Academy eighth-grade student Khristina Dudley won first place with her “American Awareness” collage in the contest’s fifth- to eighth-grade category.
Khristina says her artwork is intended to convey the senselessness of violence. “I hope people stop violence, hate and racism, and that they stop shaming people with disabilities,” she says. “Treat people like you want to be treated. Look beyond the wheelchair.”
Eligible entries conveyed messages of peace, nonviolence, social justice and anti-racism. Khristina accepted her award at a reception at The Soap Gallery in Youngstown, where her piece was on exhibit.