Nonprofit Holds Urban Family Festival to Build Community

Real Talk Inc. Holds Urban Family Festival Info
KNOXVILLE, TN — Music, dancing and laughter filled Knoxville’s Jacob Building last Saturday at the second annual Knoxville Urban Family Festival. The free event, sponsored by youth mentoring nonprofit Real Talk Inc., aimed to strengthen community bonds and reduce youth violence.Founded in 2008, Real Talk Inc. provides mentorship and resources to over 200 students in 11 Knox County schools. For 15 years, the group has offered youth a safe space to share stories and connect with support. The Knoxville Urban Family Festival is one way Real Talk grows its community impact.

Local organizations set up booths to connect families with resources on health, education and more. Participants included the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, New Directions Health Care, Knoxville Area Urban League, local churches and the fire department, which gave children fire hats.

Real Talk Inc. founder Clarence Swearengen said the event seeks to “enrich, encourage and empower youth through shared-life experiences.” Now drawing around 1,000 attendees, the festival provides a platform for community groups to build relationships and help address issues like violence that affect Knoxville families.

“For over 15 years, the program has provided a safe place for youth to share their stories and get the resources they need for their health and wellbeing,” Swearengen said. “The programs community footprint is steadily growing.”

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