Fathers Incorporated and The Black Star Project Help Coordinate 25 Cities to Improve the Plight of Black Males in America
Under the inspiration of Muhammad Ali’s “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee; Rumble Young Man Rumble” rallying cry, major urban cities will strategize to address issues of Black Male achievement in their own communities on November 12th. “We spend an awful amount of time laboring over the sobering and tragic statistics facing black males,” says Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated. “As Black men, we are way overdue to do something about it and to stop just talking about and waiting for someone to rescue us.”
“We are the leaders, we’ve been waiting for,” says Shawn Dove, Campaign Manager for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement at the Open Society Foundations. Major urban cities across the nation are far from claiming victory for Black Male achievement. Double digit unemployment rates, incarceration, health disparities, low educational obtainment figures and violence are just a short list of items yet to be addressed for this population of men. Even as America’s frustration with the economics of our country continue to boil, movements like the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street and other activities to address poverty are still leaving black males, who continue to be hardest hit, far behind.
In Louisville, Kentucky in September, 2011, Open Society Foundations hosted over 75 leaders from around the country who gathered to address how they would mobilize efforts using the spirit of the Muhammad Ali center and his legacy of principles. Muhammad Ali was quoted to say, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” That sentiment inspires this renewed urgency of work for the improvement of the plight of Black males.
“Much of why this work is so critical can be seen right here in Chicago where more Black children died from gunfire in 2008 than Chicago soldiers died in Iraq,” says Phillip Jackson, President of The Black Star Project. “In addition to high levels of violence, 50 % of all Black men between the ages of 16 and 64 years old are jobless. These numbers are devastating our families and destroying our communities; and not unique to just Chicago,” continues Jackson.
In addition to the day of action planning; there will be a 10-city role call via video conference to introduce, share information and explore solutions with a powerful core of men participating from each city. Afterward, a report will be compiled that encapsulates strategic goals and tactics to address the multiplicity of issues facing the nation’s Black males. The solutions to the issues of Black males in America will be distributed nationwide in this report..
THE FOLLOWING CITES HAVE SIGNED ON SO FAR: 1) Albany, New York, 2) Atlanta, Georgia, 3) Baltimore, Maryland, 4) Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 5) Chicago, Illinois, 6) Cincinnati, Ohio, 7) Jackson, Mississippi, 8) Louisville, Kentucky, 9) Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 10) Newark, New Jersey, 11) New York City, New York, 12) Omaha, Nebraska, 13) Peoria, Illinois, 14) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 15) Washington, D.C.
We are encouraging your city to participate in addressing issues affecting Black Males in your community. For information on how your city can be involved in this national campaign and receive a organizing kit; please call 773.285.9600 or email The Black Star Project at [email protected]. on FACEBOOK:https://www.facebook.com/RumbleYMR