“Don’t Touch the Fire.” That was the warning offered by those who suffered the legal and life-altering consequences of surrendering to peer pressure during a Friday, March 28, 2014, Youth Symposium initiated by Fulton County District 6 Commissioner Joan P. Garner and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. The Housing and Human Services Department, Office of Children and Youth sponsored the Symposium along with Caring For Others Inc. The 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Symposium at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency featured those who chose the wrong roads as well as those who are responsible for upholding the law.
District 6 Commissioner Joan P. Garner spoke to the more than 200 young people attending the Don’t Touch the Fire Symposium. As Commissioner Garner spoke, presenters who were once incarcerated sat in chairs depicting the number of years that they spent in the prison system. . Conversation Sessions during the conference featured the presenters who suffered the consequences of their illegal actions during their youth.
Young people attending the Don’t Touch the Fire Symposium also watched a WSB TV news video of former gang leader Arthur “Art” Powell as he discussed his lack of emotional concern for his victims as a leader of the “I Refuse Posse” from 1988-1992. Powell spent nearly 11 ½ years in prison. He is now a Gang Prevention Expert/Life Skills Coach through his firm e.gress Consultants, Inc. Powell was a keynote speaker during the Friday, March 28, 2014 Symposium
The symposium featured a variety of presenters. Other keynote speakers included:
• Loranzo Fleming, Assistant U. S. Attorney, Office of the United States Attorney, Northern District of Georgia
• Kimberly Scott, a product of a “solidly middle class” Detroit family with both parents present who took the wrong path after becoming a single mother at age 18
• Legal Expert Travis Townsend, co-author of “When the Cops Come Knockin,” an illustrated guide to criminal law.
For more information, contact Reginald Crossley in the Office of Children and Youth at 404-612-7386.