A couple hundred Mid-Columbia students gathered Friday for the 11th Annual Youth & Justice Forum in Pasco.
The forum for 8th- through 12th-grade students will feature judges, attorneys and law enforcement officers.
The mission is to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the justice system work force by promoting students to those career opportunities, as well as helping youth think about and better understand their legal rights and obligations as members of their communities.
The event is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Columbia Basin Colleges Gjerde Center.
This year, the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission will follow the youth event with a community forum 5:30-8:30 p.m. on campus. The first half hour will be a meet-and-greet reception.
Citizens are invited to join the discussion on issues facing todays youth and ways to help them succeed, while also creating a community plan for the next steps.
Speakers will include Chris Ramirez, advisor to Gov. Jay Inslee, and Lisa Linhart-Dow, a staff attorney with TeamChild in Yakima.