The keynote speaker Friday at the Bioneers By The Bay Conferece --- Connectiong for Change --- Is a street-wise expert on helping to reduce violence in urban communities.  Ameena Mattews is a member of ceasefire in chicago, an organization whose model has significantly helped reduce shootings and killings among young people in that city.  Matthews grew up on chicago's south side, and is a former drug ring enforcer.  She tells WBSM News, there is a distinct difference between those committing violent acts "back in the day" and now....

Ameena was named as the 2011 Chicagoan Of The Year for her work as a violence interrupter, building relationships with troubled young people who are susceptible to violence.  The Bioneers By The Bay Conference will run through Sunday in Downtown New Bedford and is sponsored by the Marion Institute.  It features workshops and speakers that focus on sustainability and positive change.

TSM