Real Talk for Stronger Families Initiative Launched by YouthUp in Collaboration with Macon Violence Prevention Program

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YouthUp, Inc., a partner of the Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) program, is introducing a new initiative called Real Talk for Stronger Families, aiming to facilitate meaningful discussions among families.

Amanda Smith, Founder and Executive Director of YouthUp, expressed the organization’s goal: “We want to offer parents and teens a place to gather and have meaningful conversations on navigating the ups and downs of today‚Äôs world. YouthUp believes that it still takes a village and if we work together, our youth can reap the benefits.”

As a recipient of an MVP grant, YouthUp, Inc. has collaborated with the Recreation Department to organize monthly gatherings from March to October. The inaugural meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at the Rosa Jackson Recreation Center on 1211 Maynard Street, starting at 6:00 p.m. Due to limited seating, interested individuals must register by calling (478) 733-8602 or emailing

The first session will focus on “Helping Our Kids Rise Above Peer Pressure.” Attendees can enjoy a light meal and share tips and suggestions based on their experiences.

Macon Violence Prevention is a comprehensive program supported and funded by the consolidated government to address public safety in Macon-Bibb County. The program, which involves elected officials, community leaders, and representatives from over 20 agencies and organizations, has contributed significantly to a 43% decrease in the homicide rate in a single year.

Operating under the MVP Strategic Plan, developed in June 2021 by community stakeholders and violent crime experts, the program utilizes data, research, and community feedback to implement effective solutions for reducing violent crime and enhancing community resilience.

Over its initial two years, Macon-Bibb and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia have allocated more than $1.6 million to 56 local nonprofit organizations dedicated to implementing proven or innovative strategies for reducing violent crime.