Youth Violence Prevention Week 2021: Community Partners Join Kankakee United to Raise Awareness and Engage the Youth


Youth Violence Prevention Week 2021: Community Partners Join Kankakee United to Raise Awareness and Engage the Youth


March 30, 2021

Kankakee, IL – National Youth Violence Prevention Week is April 12, 2021 through April 16, 2021, and everyone plays a part in preventing violence. During the week, community partners are set to join Kankakee United and the Illinois Coalition for Community Services to present three days of fun and interactive experiences to raise awareness, promote healing, and share information regarding healthy ways to cope. Also, there will be special appearances and giveaways.

Kankakee United Leadership Team Member, Aaron Clark, who serves as the Director of the Youth for Christ City Life Center in Kankakee, as well as, the Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator for Kankakee School District 111 says engaging the youth is a primary first step in addressing violence.

"We've seen far too many youth get out of gangs, off drugs, and become active in their community. We need to change our approach. If you engage youth with a loving heart, meaningful content and educational experiences that are relative to their lives and future, change is inevitable. They have opportunities, but what are opportunities without a support system? Loving and consistent support is what most of our youth need,” said Aaron Clark.

All events are free and open to the public with an emphasis on youth attendance. There are special perks for registering for the events, including giveaways.

The schedule for Youth Violence Prevention Week in Kankakee is as follows:

Wednesday, April 14th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Let’s Talk: Breaking the Silence on Self-love presented by Project Sun Kankakee. Register for the event here:

Thursday and Friday night activities will be in-person at the Youth for Christ City Life Center in Kankakee located at 1820 E. Court Street. To register for these events, visit

Thursday, April 15th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The Impact of Anti-bullying presented by Riverside Behavioral Medicine’s Business Development Liaison, Brittany Ringo.

Thursday, April 15th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  

Let’s Talk: Conflict and Resolution presented by Motivational Speaker and Founder of the “Shake the Fear” Initiative, Kent Wade.

Friday, April 16th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Effective Communication presented by Director of the Youth for Christ City Life Center and Kankakee United Leadership Team Member, Aaron Clark.

Friday, April 16th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Live to Laugh Another Day presented by Comedian and Actor, Todd Thomas.

A special appearance by Todd Thomas, who is also a Kankakee native, will wrap up the week on Friday night. Thomas states the road to recovery is long, but capable.

“Although we have made great strides, there is still a long way to go. I believe that starts here at home. Our home is our youth and our community. That is why I speak against gun violence with what I call, Live To Laugh Another Day. This is a transformational and interactive experience. We will focus on de-escalation, mentorship, and mental health. We will have fun, but NOT make fun of this global issue that has plagued so many families,” said Todd Thomas, Actor and Comedian.

“Given that we lose lives every day in this country to gun violence, our national leaders have now deemed  gun violence an epidemic. We cannot rely on an approach that strictly focuses on hiring additional law enforcement officers. While we must work together as a community to bring offenders to justice, we also must focus our efforts toward prevention, treatment, mental health, barriers to education and economic opportunity, trauma and family support. I would like to thank our community partners who continue to support our upcoming youth, and those who partner with Kankakee United. We look forward to a week of fun and interactive activities to engage our youth and to address this serious topic while providing supports they need to make better decisions that deter them from violence ,” said Mayor Wells-Armstrong.

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The City of Kankakee is dedicated to protecting, building, and nurturing the community while enhancing lives. We are a historic, vibrant, and active riverfront community. We continue to transform into an extraordinary place to dream, grow, and thrive. Embracing our diversity, we strive to be progressive, inclusive, and innovative. For more information on the City of Kankakee, please visit the website at


Download the Press Release - Youth Violence Prevention Week 2021: Community Partners Join Kankakee United to Raise Awareness and Engage the Youth