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Young writers to be named “Do The Write Thing” Ambassadors for writing about impacts of violence

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Thursday, May 23, the community will come together to celebrate the powerful words of middle school students at the annual “Do the Write Thing” banquet.

The event, hosted by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and District Attorney Steve Mulroy, will recognize the top two finalists of the National Campaign to Stop Violence program.

The “Do the Write Thing” challenge encourages middle school students to express the impact of violence in their lives through writing. This year, 417 students from 16 Memphis Shelby County Schools participated in the writing competition. The two finalists will be announced at the banquet and designated as National Do the Write Thing Ambassadors.

Mayor Lee Harris praised all the students who participated in the writing challenge.

“I want to congratulate all the students who participated in the writing challenge and thank the parents, guardians, teachers, and school administrators for encouraging students to express themselves through the written word,” Harris said in a statement. “These scholars have provided insightful ideas on how to make our community safer.”

The National Do the Write Thing Ambassadors, along with their parents or guardians and the teachers who submitted their essays, will be invited to participate in the “Do the Write Thing Challenge National Recognition Week” in Washington, D.C. in July.

Shelby County Chief Administrative Officer Harold Collins stressed the importance of providing children with opportunities to express the impact and trauma of violence in their lives.

“Now more than ever, we must provide children with opportunities to express the impact and trauma violence has caused on their young lives,” Collins said in a statement. “It is equally important for us adults to really listen to the ideas and solutions young people have to offer on how to curb violence.”

District Attorney Steve Mulroy also praised the students, saying, “Preventing youth violence is crucial for effective crime reduction. It’s inspiring to hear young people share their ideas on this issue.”

The event will be co-hosted by the Shelby County Office of Education and Youth Services, with Deputy Administrator Reginald Milton expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to bring the national program to Shelby County.

“The issue of violence in the world affecting our children daily is heartbreaking. I am thankful to Shelby County CAO Harold Collins for introducing this national program to Shelby County and the opportunity it gives students to be heard,” said Milton.

For more information on the National Do the Write Thing program, please visit https://www.dtwt.org/.

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