Time for solutions

The fifth anniversary of the Dawson shooting is marked by the Youth and Violence conference.

By: Rébecca Phaneuf-Thibault

Dawson College, in cooperation with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) will be hosting the three-day international conference of Youth and Violence: The Role of Education and Inspiring Solutions starting on Sept. 29, 2011.

The Dawson shooting, whose fifth anniversary coincides with the event, made the college the third highest education institution of Montreal that has been a victim.

Although there has been growing attention put on school violence, it has been found that it was mostly elementary and secondary institutions that were targeted when it came to taking action towards violence prevention.

During those three days however, the focus will be put on violence prevention at higher education level instead.

“I think it’s the best way to acknowledge what happened, to host an event that is all about looking into the future and figuring out ways to improve the overall violence level in schools instead of honoring something that was, let’s face it, a tragedy,” Marie Bélanger, first semester Social Science student said about her opinion on how Dawson chose to proceed with the fifth anniversary of the shooting.

Her sister, Martine Bélanger, a previous Dawson student said, “After five years, we chose to look forward and find solutions instead of staring at the problem.”

Educators from all disciplines and area codes as well as administrators from any education institutions that deal with young people are invited to submit their candidacy to the conference organizers before Jan. 31 2010. Papers, presentations, interactive workshops, round table discussion, and posters on a variety of topics can be proposed.
To this day, the three key speakers attending the conference are Dr. James Gillian, Lt. Col. David Grossman, and Barbara Coloroso.

The conference will kick off with an artistic vibe, as art and music will be the background for a reception, and poster session that will be held at Dawson College on Thursday. The next two days’ events will be held at the Sheraton Center in downtown Montreal.

The Friday sessions will revolve around understanding youth violence, its roots and nature, while the Saturday ones will focus on how violence prevention can be integrated into higher education establishments.

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