KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The city is hosting a week’s worth of events to coincide with National Youth Violence Prevention Week, April 12-16.

Knoxville is getting started early with its Kick Back Kick Off event on April 11 at Harriet Tubman Park. DJ Sterl the Pearl will be serving up music and free food will be provided from 3-5 p.m. Youth organizations can set up tables for the event to share programs and opportunities.

Phyllis Wheatley Center, 124 S. Cruze St., will host events during the next five days.

Monday will feature a shirt-making event. Tuesday features a TikTok contest where youth can used the #StopTheViolenceWeek hashtag to get in on the fun.

Write It Out Wednesday will feature a poetry contest You can submit your poem online.

Poetry Contest Rules:

  • Students must be enrolled at a Knox County School served by the YWCA’s Phyllis Wheatley Center, in grades 6-12.
  • Students can enter their own work or have a teacher submit their entry.
  • All entries must be an original work of the individual student.
  • Appropriate topics include any subject related to National Youth Violence Prevention Week.
  • Poems should be less than 40 lines of text. Please note that blank lines between stanzas are not counted.

On Thursday, community leaders will join the youth in a roundtable discussion while cleaning out gardens as a community service project. A cookout will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

A youth rally march and talent showcase will be held Saturday. The march will be held from 2-4 p.m. starting at Walter-Hardy Park. The Motivation to Overcome Violence through Expression showcase will follow until 8 p.m. at 2514 MLK Ave.

Founded in 2001, National Youth Violence Prevention Week is a time for youth to lead communities on effective strategies to prevent youth violence.