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nal UF Conference on Children, Culture and Violence Begins Thursday

GAINESVILLE, Fla – Cruelty against children and its causes and prevention will be the focus of hundreds of participants here Thursday and Friday as experts from around the world gather for a conference, “Children, Culture & Violence,” convened by University of Florida officials.

Where, how and why violence occurs in children’s lives will be discussed at the second annual conference of UF Levin College of Law’s Center on Children and the Law and co-hosted by UF’s Center for Children’s Literature & Culture. Conference sessions Friday are at the Gainesville Sheraton (2900 SW 13th Street), and will close with a keynote speech by Florida Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead on “Stopping Youth Violence Before It Starts.”

Among topics to be covered earlier that day are Children and Commercialization of Sex and Violence, Violence and Nonviolence in Schools, Children in the Justice System, Violence Begins (and Ends) At Home, Impact of Emotional Violence, and Global Perspectives on the Culture of Violence.

The conference will open with dinner Thursday, and guided tours of “The Culture of
Violence” exhibit at the Harn Museum of Art.

“Those of us living in Florida hear almost daily about the tremendous statewide problem of abused, neglected and missing children,” said David H. Levin Chair in Family Law Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, director of the law school’s Center on Children, “but it is a global tragedy brought on because violence has become an integral part of contemporary culture.”

“We must find ways to arm our children to resist, survive and comprehend violence without succumbing to it themselves,” Woodhouse continued.

In addition to Anstead, other keynote speakers are Geoffrey Canada, president of the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families, New York, and recipient of the 1995 Heinz Foundation Award; and Ntozake Shange, poet and novelist, author of an Obie Award-winning choreo-poem and of a children’s book, Whitewash, adapted to film and currently being screened on HBO.

The conference is supported by UF’s Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, France-Florida Research Institute, Harn Museum of Art, Institute for Child Health Policy, SHANDS Healthcare and Woodhouse Shanahan, P.A.

Additional information and detailed agenda can be found at

Contact information:

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Published: March 18th, 2003

Category: News

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