Educational and Entrepreneurial Initiatives to Support Youth in Places of Violence

Educational and Entrepreneurial Initiatives to Support Youth in Places of Violence

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | 8:00 AM - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 | 6:30 PM (Pacific)

Participant youth, Wallace and Wellington, overlooking the city from their community.


The heavy presence of youth and young adults in the world of criminality is an issue that has been gaining increasingly more attention in the agendas of policymakers and politicians in developing and developed nations. With scarce options for a quality education, prospects for gainful employment and the possibility for future economic sustainability, on a daily basis, young individuals from poor communities throughout Latin American and U.S. cities are exposed to a violent environment with easily accessed - and often attractive - gateways into the world of criminality. From casual affiliation to gangs in schools and neighborhoods in Southern California, to full-time armed participation in international drug cartels in Juarez and drug factions in Rio de Janeiro favelas, youth are the biggest target – and victims – of violence.

In attempts to shed light to this very complex and fundamental issue that is claiming thousand of lives every year and deteriorating the social fabric across cities, the Program on Poverty and Governance (PovGov) at Stanford Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) in conjunction with the Center for Latin American Studies, The Bill Lane Center for the America West, The Mexico Initiative at FSI, and The Center on International Security and Cooperation, will hold a two-day conference to discuss the dimensions of youth and criminal violence in Latin American and U.S. cities and share pathways to hope.

Ranging from grassroots initiatives to widespread government policies, the conference will develop on various established development actions and programs aimed at providing educational, work, and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth in territories impacted by poverty, criminality and violence in the U.S. and Latin America. We will gather activists and practitioners from grassroots civil society organizations, community leaders, educators, professionals from international development platforms, policy-makers, politicians, scholars - as well as some of the very individuals participating in these programs - to discuss the many challenges faced by the youth population in these different locations and to share innovative and inspirational initiatives to generate opportunities and foster change.                                                        

At PovGov, we believe in the importance of creating an environment where actors with different backgrounds across sectors, disciplines, realities and environments can come together to share their first-hand experiences, challenges and aspirations. We hope this wide-reaching and multiplayer conference can enrich the discussion around the formulation of policies and development strategies to benefit the youth in places of violence and better inform the work moving forward.    


Conference Materials

Conference Agenda

Descriptions of Panels and Talks

Speaker Bios



Tuesday, April 28th 2015

8:40 – 9:00: Welcoming Remarks

·      Beatriz Magaloni, Director, PovGov, Stanford University.

·      Larry Diamond, Director, CDDRL, Stanford University.

·      Rodolfo Dirzo, Director, Center for Latin America Studies, Stanford University.


 9:00 – 10:30

Panel 1. Youth Violence: Risk Factors and Consequences

·      Beatriz Magaloni, Director, PovGov, Stanford University.

·      Brenda Jarillo, Post-Doctoral Fellow, PovGov, Stanford University.

·      Monica Valdez González, Director of Research and Studies, IMJUVE, Mexico.

Discussant: Francis Fukuyama, Director, Program on Governance, Stanford University.


10:40 – 11:40

Keynote Speaker

The Agenda for Youth Violence Prevention in Brazil: Where We Are Now and Where We Are Heading

Angela Guimarães, Brazil’s Sub-Secretary of Youth and President of the National Council on Youth (CONJUVE)


11:50 – 12:50: Lunch


1:00 – 2:30

Panel 2. Initiatives for At-risk Youth in Rio Favelas

·      Eliana de Sousa e Silva, Director, Redes de Desenvolvimento da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

·      Jailson de Sousa e Silva, Director, Observatório de Favelas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

·      Ivana Bentes, National Secretary of Citizenship and Cultural Diversity, Brazil.

Discussant: Larry Diamond, Director, CDDRL, Stanford University.


(10-minute break)


2:40 – 4:10

Panel 3. Reducing Youth Gang Activity and Violence in the U.S.

·      Amy Crawford, Deputy Director, Center for Crime Prevention and Control, John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

·      Lateefah Simon, Director, California’s Future Initiative at Rosenberg Foundation, San Francisco, California.

·      Christa Gannon, Founder and Director, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, San Mateo and Santa Clara, California.

Discussant: Bruce Cain, Director, Bill Lane Institute for the American West, Stanford University.


4:15 – 5:00: Closing Event of the Day

Stanford International Crime and Violence Lab announcement; cooperation agreement ceremony; photography exposition from Observatório de Favelas (“People’s Images” project).

·      Beatriz Magaloni, Stanford University.

·      Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, Stanford University.



Wednesday, April 29th 2015

9:00- 10:30

Panel 4. Evaluating Effective Interventions for Youth

·      Jorja Leap, Adjunct Professor, Department of Social Welfare; Director, Health and Social Justice Partnership, UCLA.

·      Gustavo Robles, Pre-Doctoral Fellow, PovGov, Stanford University.

·      Felix Lucero, The Prison University Project, California, U.S.

Facilitator: Martin Carnoy, Professor, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University. 


10:40 – 1:00

Panel 5. The “Network for Youth Agency” Experience


Sector 5.1. Instruments to Make a Difference

·      Veruska Delfino, Production Coordinator, Agência de Redes Para Juventude.

·      Ana Paula Lisboa, Methodology Coordinator, Agência de Redes Para Juventude.

·      Elaine Rosa, Former Participant and Entrepreneur, Agência de Redes Para Juventude.

Discussant: Stephen Commins, Lecturer in Urban Planning and Associate Director for Global Public Affairs at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA.


Section 5.2. World Exchange of Methodologies

·      Marcus Faustini, Director and Founder, Agência de Redes Para Juventude, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

·      Paul Heritage, Professor, Queen Mary University of London, UK.

·      Liz Moreton, Battersea Arts Centre, London, UK.

·      Suzie Henderson, Contact Theatre, Manchester, UK.

Discussant: Stephen Commins, Lecturer in Urban Planning and Associate Director for Global Public Affairs at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA.


1:00 – 2:00: Lunch


2:10 – 3:10

Keynote Speaker

Applied Social Research: Youth and Gangs in Mexico City

Hector Castillo BerthierFounder and Director, Circo Volador, Mexico


3:55 - 4:35

Panel 6. Victims and Perpetrators of Violence: Redirecting Youth in Mexican Prisons

·      Carlos Cruz, Founder and Director, Cauce Ciudadano, Mexico.

·      Ana Laura Magaloni, Professor of Law, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), Mexico.

·      Humberto Padgett, Journalist, Mexico.

·      Antonio Cervantes, Producer, Mexico.

Discussant: Alberto Diaz-Cayeros, Senior Fellow, FSI, Stanford University.


4:40– 6:00

Panel 7: Youth Experiences: Sharing Lives, Practices and Knowledge

·     Emanuelle Gomes Pereira Mallete, Agência de Redes Para Juventude and Pontão de Cultura, Sepetiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

.     Mariluce Mariá de Souza, Social Enterpreneur and Activist, Complexo do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

·     Francisco Valdean Alves dos Santos, Observatório de Favelas, Complexo da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

·     Valnei Succo, Observatório de Favelas, Rocha Miranda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

·     Christian Paronable, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, California.

·     Alma Yureni Esqueda Garcia, Cauce Ciudadano, Morelos, Mexico.

Facilitator: Izabela Moi, John S. Knight Journalism Fellow, Stanford University.


6:00 – Closing Remarks and Final reception

·       Beatriz Magaloni, Director, PovGov, Stanford University.




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Panel Descriptions
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Conference Agenda
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Speaker Bios
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