Blogs by Cynth'ya Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org
Blacks....Muncie Indiana 2007
8/10/2007 7:25:01 PM
See previous blog for follow-thru, and poem called "race" at www.authorsden.com/cynthya
Article Title: Article published Aug 9, 2007
OUR VIEW (The News Editor's Views)
Helping black males a job for the entire community
Helping black males a job for the entire community
There is no doubt that black males in Indiana and in the United States in general are in crisis. Consider this:
In Indiana, only 46 percent of black males graduated from high school in 2003 compared with 72 percent of white males, according to the Schott Foundation for Public Education.
The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee reports that 42 percent of black men in Indiana are unemployed.
More black men were incarcerated in 2006 than entered public universities, according to Philip Jackson, founder of the Black Star Project, a nonprofit focused on stemming dropouts in the black community.
Nationally, only 22 percent of the black men who enter college graduate after six years.
More than 1 million black men are in jail or prison in the United States.
It is easy to engage and finger-point over who or what is to blame for such alarming statistics, but action is what is needed to help stem this tragic loss of black males to drugs, crime, unemployment and general hopelessness.
Two related actions have shown consistent results in creating a better life for young blacks, their families and the community: education and mentoring. But many organizations that provide mentoring are experiencing a severe shortage of volunteers.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware County recently reported that of the 49 male Big Brothers, only four are minorities and just three of those are African-American. At the same time, about 80 percent of Little Brothers are minorities. Dozens of boys are on the waiting list.
An opportunity for adults to connect with youth will be available at today's Muncie Black Expo Health, Employment and Community Information Fair at Horizon Convention Center. This event kicks off the three-day Muncie Homecoming Festival, Friday through Sunday at McCulloch Park. Theme of this year's festival is "Let's Take Our Children Back From the Streets," and plenty of youth activities are planned, including an educational awareness forum.
"(We) wanted to bring Muncie people home and show youth that you can make it," said planning committee member Robert Thompson. He added that education would be the overall emphasis of the event.
In a recent column in The Indianapolis Star, Jackson, of the Black Star Project, which is based in Chicago, noted that statistics point to a dismal future for the black community. He believes that without strong, vibrant black males as family anchors, there cannot be a strong black community. The value and power of education must be reinforced along with the essentialness and necessity of family.
Fortunately, members of the Muncie community are addressing those needs, but more help is needed. Black men are the front line, but there is a role for everyone, whether it's volunteering in a local school, serving on a committee or providing financial support for organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters. We all must play a part.
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