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Philadelphia Youth Gather for first “Youth Jawn” Teen Summit

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation joined Creative Praxis to host 50 young Philadelphians at the inaugural summit “Youth Jawn: Reimagining Philadelphia Rec Centers.”

PHILADELPHIA— On Saturday, November 12, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR), in partnership with Creative Praxis, hosted “Youth Jawn: Reimagining Philadelphia Rec Centers” for Philadelphia youth (ages 14-24 years old). The first-of-its-kind summit offered a day of art-based, joy-filled, and healing-centered sessions that addressed youth leadership, youth programming, and community safety.

The summit opened with intentional community building activities that included collective art making, and breakout sessions which covered trauma, stress, de-escalation, self-regulation, and systemic oppression, amongst other topics.“Everyday at Parks & Rec we see the positive benefits recreation has on the lives of teens and older youth,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Thanks to our partners at Creative Praxis and the youth leaders attending the ‘Youth Jawn,’ we heard directly from teens about the recreational programs and spaces that will resonate with them and their peers. We’re constantly searching for any opportunity to further support young people, and this summit is one way Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is responding to the ever-changing needs of youth across the city.”Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and Philadelphia City Councilmembers Helen Gym and Isaiah Thomas stopped by the summit to thank participating youth and to hear firsthand from the young leaders in attendance. Attending youth participated in interactive breakout sessions and shared their thoughts on how to plan thriving programming across the city, that engage young people. “Young people between the ages of 14 and 24 years old are in a developmentally important time physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually,” said Founder of Creative Praxis Nia Eubanks-Dixon.  “Young people growing up in the City today are dealing with the pervasive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the mass trauma from the unending attacks on black and brown people, and a gun violence epidemic in our city. By bringing together youth from across the City, we can provide spaces for teens and young adults to connect with each other and reimagine what thriving public spaces in Philadelphia can be. This summit was designed to give young people an active voice in creating solutions for our City.”Thanks to support from Spring Point Partners, PPR and Creative Praxis have partnered to develop programming to empower and engage older youth in developing modern recreation programming that meets the needs of teens today. The partnership aims to build youth leadership, develop innovative programming ideas, and create violence prevention strategies that will result in an expansion of positive youth engagement in Philadelphia neighborhoods.


Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Creative Praxis (CP) crafts innovative art-based, healing-centered trainings for youth, their leaders, and community members. The CP curriculum is led by six humanistic social emotional approaches that facilitate a shift toward liberation-based education, community engagement, and youth work. To contact CP, please email Samuel Apondi at or visit the website at