Eric Connerly Data News Weekly Contributor
In a room of about 100 young Black men from Sophie B. Wright and Eleanor McMain High Schools filled a room.
“What is the narrative as it relates to young Black boys in New Orleans right now? What do people think of you all?” they were asked.
In a time when violence and inequality continue to plague many communities, the recent Anti-Violence Conference for Young Black Boys stands out as a beacon of hope and empowerment. This groundbreaking event held last Friday, October 27th at Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries, brought together young Black boys from various backgrounds and provided them with the tools, inspiration, and support they need to break free from the cycle of violence that disproportionately affects their demographics. With a resounding message of unity, education, and mentorship, the conference was a resounding success in its mission to create a safer, more equitable future for these young individuals.
“We are seeing the way people think about Black boys and what they see because of how they wear their hair, because of how they dress. They are actually dismantling who the child can become,” Reverand Pat Watson, CEO of the Family Center of Hope, said. The Family Center of Hope is a non-profit organization that works with the City of New Orleans, providing alternatives for system-involved youth by serving as an Evening Reporting Center for Juvenile Delinquents to get the help they need. The Center has an 82% success rate with deterring youth recidivism.
The success of the Citywide Men’s Conference for Young Black Boys goes beyond immediate outcomes. It represents a transformative shift in the narrative surrounding young Black boys, emphasizing their potential, resilience, and the importance of providing them with the opportunities and support they deserve. The event was made possible with support from Foundation for Louisiana, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, BENOLA, 100 Black Men and The New Orleans Crime Coalition.
In a world where violence and inequality continue to affect marginalized communities, initiatives like this conference serve as a shining example of what can be achieved through education, mentorship, and community unity. These young Black boys are not just the leaders of tomorrow; they are the leaders of today, and the success of this conference reaffirms their potential to make a positive and lasting impact on their communities and the world at large.