BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the plan for the second year of the Summer of Hope program.

“Our theme is peace over everything,” said Mayor-President Broome.

The Summer of Hope is a community-led violence reduction campaign aimed to make neighborhoods safer.

“As summer approaches it is critical that we double down on this work,” said Broome.

Broome said the program contributed to the reduction of homicides by more than 23% in Baton Rouge.

“I do consider Baton Rouge a safe city to grow up in. Do we have work to do to make it a safer city for people to grow up in? Absolutely,” stated Broome.

This year, the program has been expanded from 12 weeks to 15 and will focus on four key areas: street outreach, joy and hope events, conversation and connections, and programs and initiatives.

“Street outreach, which is grassroots community engagement like door-to-door canvassing, neighborhood-based walks and resource events. Then there are joy and hope events, which aim to promote joy, creativity and fun in neighborhoods that experience high levels of violence,” said Broome.

The program will also focus on conversation and connections and programs and initiatives.

“Now these will be courageous community discussions that challenge our thinking around the issue of public safety and build proactive solutions and we will focus on providing personal and professional development opportunities for youth through employment literacy and exposure to a variety of experiences,” added Mayor-President Broome.

An event calendar for Summer of Hope will be announced within a few weeks with updates on an almost weekly basis.

In addition to the Summer of Hope initiative, the Mayor’s Youth Workforce Experience will provide youth and young people with summer jobs and professional development. The program will accept 500 youth this year and will provide a number of resources including:

·         Job training

·         Mental health services

·         Substance abuse treatment

·         Education and tutoring

·         Nutritious food

·         Mentoring