|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6777
|For Immediate Release
April 18, 2001
UNCA's Gene Rainey Organizes April
21 Summit on Asheville's Homeless
UNC Asheville will host a summit on "Bridging the Gap: Asheville's Downtown Young People" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in UNCA's Humanities Lecture Hall. GeneRainey, UNCA's Breman Professor of Social Relations and long-time advocate for area young people, is organizing the summit.
"Downtown Asheville currently has between 100 and 200 homeless youth," Rainey said. "The number is growing, fed by dropouts from Buncombe's and surrounding counties' high schools. Western North Carolina has one of the highest dropout rates in the state. These young people need a safe, clean place to live, employment, and a market for their art, crafts and other talents."
The Youth Summit is designed to provide an open forum for adults and young people to discuss the challenges faced by Asheville's downtown youth, Rainey said. The summit will explore possibilities for innovative housing, employment with new non-profit organizations, and mentoring and careers in the arts.
Leading the summit will be Our Next Generation, a non-profit organization with the goal of building youth centers throughout Western North Carolina, and Mosaic Vortex, a group representing downtown Asheville's young people. Rainey is currently the president of Our Next Generation, and Breanna Leslie is head of Mosaic Vortex.
The day-long event will begin with coffee at 9 a.m. followed by talks by Rainey and Leslie at 9:30 a.m. At 11 a.m., participants will break into four discussion groups to explore challenges faced by homeless youth and how the Asheville community can help. Reports from the discussion groups will be presented in the early afternoon. A showcase of music and drama presented by Mosaic Vortex will follow.
The Youth Summit is funded by UNCA's Joseph and Sara Breman Professorship of Social Relations.
For more information, contact Gene Rainey at 828/251-6983.
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