Pastor Simmons, Pastor Newkirk  Address Youth  at Sigma   “Combating Community Gun Violence” Symposium 

The Buffalo alumnae chapter of the International Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., the Eta Rho Sigma chapter recently hosted its annual nation-wide “Youth Symposium”. The   sorority has been implementing the Youth Symposium for over 20 years. This symposium, which  takes place in March by alumnae chapters across the nation,  is designed to highlight some of the prevalent concerns that negatively impact our youth such as drugs, abuse, low self-esteem, teen pregnancy, suicide, etc.  

This year’s theme,   “Combating Community Gun Violence, “ sought to deal  with issues including Contributing Factors to Gun Violence in our Communities, Consequences of Possessing a Firearm, Societal Impact of Death and Mass Incarceration. 

The year’s symposium took place on Saturday, March 19  from 10  a.m. until 1  p.m., at McKinley High School, located at 1500 Elmwood Ave .  The theme was  “Combating Community Gun Violence”.

The expertise of the  guest speakers – Pastor Kenneth Simmons and Pastor Tim Newkirk –  was  unparalleled and   essential to productive dialogue on how gun violence is impacting Buffalo and other inner-cities nationwide.  Pastor   Simmons is the Director of Recreational Services for the City of Buffalo. He has been transparent about his troubled past and has positively turned his life around and mentors youth.

Also, Pastor   Newkirk has extensive experience working with gangs and providing mediation, crisis intervention, and life skills coaching to individuals ages 13 to 21.  

There were also workshop presentations that had deeper exploration of relevant youth topics such as group chats, joining gangs, surviving in a dysfunctional home, definition of  a felony and how it impacts one’s  future, and the impact homicide has on grieving families.  

The women of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and its affiliates have been serving the Western New York area for over 30 years.