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Summit on the Plight of the African American Male starts Oct. 17

NEW ORLEANS - While Post-Katrina New Orleans has experienced tremendous progress and some quality of life improvements, Pastor Tom Watson, organizer of the 20th Annual Citywide Summit on the African American Male, argues “that there still exists the ‘tale of two cities’ when juxtaposed with the harsh realities of African American males living in New Orleans.”  Fifty-two percent of New Orleans African American men are unemployed; disproportionate numbers of Black men and boys are still being incarcerated in mass numbers; NOPD continues overuse of serious force or racial profiling (noted in the Consent Decree) and, nationally, a recurring trend of unarmed Black men being murdered by police could make New Orleans ripe to become the next Ferguson, Missouri.
     
Former Mayor Marc Morial is the summit’s speaker. The summit is free and open to the public, as it is intended to elevate a participatory solution-based dialogue addressing these issues with community residents and a distinguished panel of local experts/stakeholders including: Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University; Dr. Patrice Sams-Abiodun,executive director of the Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy at Loyola University and co-author of Recognizing the Underutilized Economic Potential of Black Men in New Orleans; Jason Williams, New Orleans Councilman At-Large; and Kenneth Polite, U.S. Attorney will weigh-in on the state of Black men and boys in this city. The summit is free and open to the public.  WWL-TV Anchor Sally Ann Roberts will moderate.

2014 Conference Events-Sponsored by Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries & The Family Center of Hope

Stopping Murders-Rap Sessions & Workshops for 300 school-age males
                Friday, 9:00 a.m.- Noon
                                        
Restoring Men-20th Annual Summit– National Urban League’s Marc Morial
    Friday, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Healing Mothers–Helping Mothers Heal Conference
                 Saturday, 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 pm


Helping Mothers Heal-From Interruption to Intervention


As an outgrowth of the 2012 Conference on The African American Male, Helping Mother’s Heal was born as an intervention to aid mothers and families victimized by the murder of their sons. Due to the overwhelming outcry for help, this year’s conference will feature a new convening for victim’s mothers and their families. Mothers will address law enforcement and justice system officials and share with them their grief from these egregious crimes and a persistent, lingering source of their pain, the fact that their loved ones murders remain unsolved. District Attorney Leon Cannizaro, Crimestoppers Darlene Costanza, Juvenile Judge Ernestine Gray and Police Chief Michael Harrison have agreed to take part in the conference. Rev. Patricia Watson, founder, states “our purpose is to turn these mothers’ pain into purpose.” Registration for the conference is $35. To register, call 504.891.3264 or visit www.fchnola.com.

“These two very important convenings are about bringing community residents together to have a voice,” said  Pastor Tom Watson.  “We cannot wait for top-down government solutions to the issues related to violence that affect us-hence, the conference attempts to explore and influence better outcomes and greater accountability for prevention and intervention.”
 

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