Louisville invites participants to 502Con, city’s inaugural virtual violence prevention conference, planned for this Saturday

May 21, 2020

In partnership with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the Metro Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods and the Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (YVPRC), local youth leaders Imani Smith, Jailen Leavell and Ahmaad Edmund today announced a new virtual conference for Louisville youth, focused on violence prevention.

The conference, 502Con, is scheduled from 2-6:30 p.m. this Saturday, May 23, 2020. It has been created and will be led by local youth, and is inspired after the national conference YARD CON, a digital conference for black students presented by Watch The Yard. Individuals aged 13-30 years are encouraged to participate, although anyone can join in this inaugural event. 

“Our hope is for 502Con to raise public awareness surrounding the issues of violence in the city by bringing together youth from all neighborhoods to discuss the crucial problems and root causes that lead to violence of all types across all demographics,” said Imani Smith, a member of the Mayor’s Youth Implementation Team.

Mayor Fischer praised the team “for stepping up during these challenging times to discuss violence prevention, education, arts and development in our city.”

The Mayor will be joining the conference at 2:15 p.m. along with the city’s Chief of Community Building, Vincent James. 


In addition to members of the Mayor’s Youth Implementation Team, other featured speakers include:

Maryam Ahmed, Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods

AMPED, local music group

Jecorey “1200” Arthur, Metro Council District 4 candidate

State Representative Charles Booker, U.S. Senate candidate 

Quaniqua Carthan, Director of Programming and Planning, Cities United 

Dr. Kevin Cosby, President, Simmons College of Kentucky 

Dasia, local music artist 

Chase Dean, local music artist  

Metro Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey, District 3

Dawne Gee, WAVE3

Makya Griffin, local music artist 

Major Josh Hasch, Louisville Metro Police Department

Elder Bryant Jackson, Bible Way Church of God in Christ 

Trinidad Jackson, Senior Researcher, UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences 

Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio, Jefferson County Public Schools

Diane Porter, District 1, Jefferson County Public Schools 

Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, Executive Advisor, Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health 

State Representative Josie Raymond

State Representative Attica Scott

Taris Smith, graphic designer and photographer   

Terrell Williams, CEO, RELL Speaks 

Nicole Yates, District Director, Congressman John Yarmuth’s office


The featured keynote speaker will be announced on social media later today.

While the fundamental focus of the conference is violence prevention among youth – as the city was not able to host any in-person National Youth Violence Prevention Week events due to the COVID-19 pandemic – other topics like education, local and state politics, the U.S. Census, economic development, arts and networking will be discussed.    


502Con will be hosted on the online event platform Hopin. 

The virtual event is free, but registration is required. To register, visit: https://hopin.to/events/502con?fbclid=IwAR0D6tmX8BcMEFyDh5rzHSP7sMlHA5Et...

Media must also register to join the event.

Follow 502Con on social media: 

Instagram: @502con  

Twitter: @502_con

Facebook: 502Con



About Ahmaad J. Edmund:

Ahmaad J. Edmund is a licensed minister, inspirational speaker and social activist. He is a rising senior at Hampton University of Hampton, Virginia, where he studies Political Science and Leadership Studies. Upon returning home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he joined the 502Con Team and other community initiatives. 


About Jailen Leavell:

Jailen Leavell is dedicated to social justice, community service, and equality. He is currently a rising senior at Tennessee State University studying Broadcast Journalism. In 2018, he was selected as the Tennessee State University White House Initiative Competitiveness Scholar. His focus was to promote HBCU excellence, innovation, and sustainability. While home in Louisville, Leavell has joined the 502Con Team. 


About Imani Smith:

Imani Smith has been an active member of the Mayor’s Youth Implementation Team since 2018. She is a first-year at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky where she studies Political Science. Smith is also an alum of the 2018 American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation Program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she collaborated with several youth leaders in Louisville to produce 502Con to promote violence prevention in Louisville.