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Fifth Annual Urban Child Symposium: ‘A Holistic Approach to the Urban Child’s Trauma: From the Eyes of the Beholder,’ April 4

From an early age, children living in inner cities frequently confront issues involving substance abuse and violence. They witness injury, suffering and death -- and they respond with fear and grief, which, in turn, has a profound impact on their development. An estimated 26 percent of children in the United States experience or witness a traumatic event before age 4. In the juvenile justice system, as many as 9 in 10 children have experienced a traumatic event. Yet few such youths are identified as traumatized, and even fewer receive appropriate treatment or placement.

This year’s Urban Child Symposium, “A Holistic Approach to the Urban Child’s Trauma: From the Eyes of the Beholder,” will address the importance of considering exposure to childhood trauma when developing more effective means to address problems faced by urban children and their families. Held by the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center for Families, Children and the Courts, the symposium will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Venable Baetjer Howard Moot Court Room in the John and Frances Angelos Law Center (1415 Maryland Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21201), home of the UB School of Law. It will feature expert panelists as well as keynote presenters and special guests. There is no charge to attend the symposium, but advance registration is required (details below).

Rain Pryor
, actress, singer, writer, comedian and producer, will deliver a keynote address. A lunchtime keynote presentation, “From Tragedy to Triumph,” will be delivered by Nancy and Anthony Green, founders of Deanna’s Lyric Foundation. Opening remarks will be presented by CFCC Director Barbara Babb, University of Baltimore President Robert L. Bogomolny and UB School of Law Dean Ronald Weich.

Details on the symposium’s three panels are as follows:

Panel One: Setting the Stage

  • Risa Garon, executive director and co-founder, National Family Resiliency Center
  • Thomas M. Scalea, Francis X. Kelly Professor of Trauma Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and director of the Program in Trauma; physician-in-chief, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center
  • Elizabeth Thompson, assistant vice president and director of the Family Center at the Kennedy Krieger Institute

Panel Two: The Urban Child’s Trauma and the Law: How Can the Justice System Help?

  • Anthony W. Batts, commissioner, Baltimore Police Department
  • Yvette M. Bryant, associate judge for the Baltimore City Circuit Court; judge-in-charge, Family Division
  • Melanie D. Shapiro, chief attorney for the Juvenile Court Division, Maryland Office of the Public Defender

Panel Three: The Urban Child’s Trauma and the Law: How Can Society Help?

  • Nicole Harris-Crest, third-year law student at the University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Rhonda Lipkin, independent verification agent on the L.J. v. Dallas case
  • Lori Mostofsky, social worker in the psychiatry unit of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
  • Karen Webber-Ndour, executive director of Student Support Services for Baltimore City Public Schools
For more information on the symposium and to R.S.V.P., please visit the Urban Child Symposium page.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.