Inspired by a mobilization effort in Philadelphia, leaders of Baltimore's African-American community vowed Wednesday to recruit at least 5,000 black men to bring positive change to their communities.
The goal is to reduce the city's rates of violence, high school dropouts and absentee fathers. More than 50 men representing churches, educational institutions and civic groups gathered at Calverton Elementary/Middle School in West Baltimore to announce the initiative.
The group will meet on Father's Day, June 15, at the Baltimore Convention Center, where there will be opportunities for men to sign up as volunteers with more than 100 community organizations. Several service providers will be on hand to offer men whatever assistance they need to be productive residents, be it job training or substance abuse withdrawal. Plans for follow-up meetings are in the works to maintain the momentum generated in the next few weeks.
The initiative is modeled after 10,000 Men Philly, an assembly held in October. Former state Sen. Larry Young is credited with the idea of replicating the Philadelphia program in Baltimore. Organizers said they are trying to recruit 5,000 men because Baltimore is about half the size of Philadelphia.
Hat tip: Black Informant