Doug McCrory


Doug McCrory



June 23, 2021

Youth-Centered Event on Violence Prevention, Mental Health, and Community Empowerment to be Held at Windsor’s Hopewell Baptist Church

Hopewell Baptist Church Youth & Young Adult Leaders is holding “We Hear You, Let’s Talk About It,” Empowering Our Future Leaders to Speak Up & Speak Out. A community forum to engage and empower young people to share their viewpoints on violence prevention, mental health, and learn how to channel their perspectives in speaking out against social injustices and inequalities. The event is produced by Francine Entertainment & Marketing.

The event will take place on Saturday, June 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. outdoors at Hopewell Baptist Church (280 Windsor St. Windsor, Connecticut). As part of the engaging and informative community event there will be free food and prizes, with music provide by DJ Bigg Mann of Hot 93.7FM and a step show. Rain date is June 27 from noon to 4 p.m.

To register for the free event, click here.

The Saturday event is open to all youth and young adults – local community, Hartford County, high school or college age, etc. – and adult attendees are welcome to bring their children.

There will be a panel discussion, with Q&A, during the event to help facilitate the conversation among attending youth and young adults from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

A press conference with the panelists and event organizers will be held at 12:00 p.m. prior to the start of the panel discussion.

Panelists include elected officials, educators, community advocates, and leaders in the judicial system including:

  • State Senator Douglas McCrory
  • Chief State’s (CT) Attorney Richard Colangelo
  • The Honorable Dawne G. Westbrook, Superior Court Judge State of Connecticut
  • Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gail P. Hardy
  • Hartford Police Department Sergeant Steven Austin
  • Roxanne Ellis-Denby LCSW, President of the National Association of Black Social Workers (CT) Cofounder “A Mind’s Journey” Therapeutic & Trauma Agency
  • UCONN Professor Dr. Michael Mallory Jr., Transformative Leader & Educational Influencer
  • Bro. Kelvin X. LoveJoy, Lead Community Organizer at the Blue Hills Civic Association
  • Mayor Luke Bronin of Hartford
  • Mayor Don Trinks of Windsor

The discussion will be moderated by Francine Austin, CEO of Francine Entertainment & Marketing.

This discussion around mental health comes at a time when more than 25% of high school students said their emotional and cognitive health had become worse according to a statistic cited by the Kaiser Family Foundation from a June 2020 survey conducted by America’s Promise Alliance. A February 2021 study between NBC News and Challenge Success reported 32% of students cited mental health as a major source of stress in fall 2020. In addition, only 35% of students said they were quite or very confident about their ability to manage stress.

Also, youth and young adults make up a significant part of deaths due to guns in Connecticut. About 10 percent of people in Connecticut who were killed by guns between 2010 and mid-2020 in the state’s three largest cities were 25 years old or younger, according to a 2020 CT Post report. The City of Hartford experienced over several shooting incidents in the first couple weeks of May 2021, according to the Hartford Police Department. The number of shootings for both weeks this year was higher compared to the same weeks in 2020.

During the discussion, the panelists will talk about available educational opportunities where participants can receive career development and gain a greater understanding of the legislative and judicial process. Insights into how public policy is crafted and the judicial process operates will help young people participating in these educational opportunities have a stronger idea of how they can navigate those systems and enact changes to lessen inequalities.

The event is held in collaboration with Walgreens, George W. Crawford Black Bar Association, Hartford Chapter NAACP, Wilson Gray, YMCA, Legacy Foundation, Warden Carl Robinson Foundation, Blue Hills Civic Association, Judicial District of Hartford, Capital Community College, UConn Law School, Hartford Police Department, and Hartford Communities that Care.

Individuals with questions can contact: or 860-655-6322.