Tree Ceremony to Remember Youth and Encourage Parents to Become Involved
(8/6/2007) (NEW HAVEN)-- On Wednesday August 8, 2007, at 3:00 p.m., a dedication ceremony will be held to plant two trees in memory of both 13-year-old Jajuana Cole and 13-year-old Justus Suggs. The event will take place on the Canal Street portion of the Farnham Trail (located between Munson Street and Webster Street) in New Haven, Connecticut.
Sonda Whitefield, the mother of Jajuana Cole and Tracey Suggs, the mother of Justus Suggs will dedicate the trees in memory of their children who were killed by gun violence on June 17 and July 29 of 2006.
Since their death, both parents have been working as program directors for CTRIBAT (Children and Teens-Retreat) Institute For Social Development. The trees represent not only the memory of the two children but also the involvement of parents working together with police to keep kids and communities safe.
The event is being held in collaboration with Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., the New Haven Parks Department and CTRIBAT (Children and Teens-Retreat) Institute For Social Development.
CTRIBAT is most noted for it success in reducing gun violence among urban youth.The CTRIBAT 2006 Summer Leadership Retreat “Front Line” targeted the population of At-Risk male youth ages 8 years-old to 17 years-old and created the conditions that led to the 400% reduction of Firearm Related Incidents in the Urban Sector of New Haven Connecticut known as the Dixwell Avenue-a historical African American community adjacent to Yale University.
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