Empowering Columbus’ African American Youth
Councilmember Shannon Hardin and the City of Columbus Host EMPOWERED, MENTALLY STRONG AND SUCCESSFUL, the My Brother’s Keeper Conference to Empower Young Men ages 14-19
Iron sharpens iron, a common saying in the urban community, is resonating
within the leaders of City Hall. Its echo has been transformed into measurable
action as the City of Columbus Department of Neighborhoods launches the My
Brother’s Keeper Empowerment Conference, Mentally Strong and Successful on
October 21, at Franklin University Alumni Hall, 301 E. Rich St., Columbus
43215, from 8-3pm.
Register for the
conference online at www.columbus.gov/mbk/2017conference/.
The conference will
focus on leadership, mental health and behavioral awareness. It is the second
large-scale event focused on African American males in the City of Columbus
“Our goal is to
provide valuable information and a space for open dialogue and an exchange of
ideas with other African American men," said Councilmember Shannon Hardin.
On Saturday, at 8am,
students, government officials, police officers, non-profit and private sector
service providers will gather on the campus of Franklin University for a day
about the opportunities and skills needed for young boys and men of color.
The focus is
Columbus' My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Initiative and its goals.
serves as a follow up to the My Brother’s Keeper Summit that we held in
May of this year,” said Department of Neighborhoods Director Carla
Williams-Scott. “We want to hear from our young men and work with our service
providers to ensure that we are addressing their concerns.”
The MBK Initiative
began in 2014 when President Barack Obama rallied a call to action to support
and uplift young boys and men of color.
In 2016, Mayor Andrew
J. Ginther and Councilmember Shannon Hardin worked to support the movement by
establishing a full-time position dedicated to the MBK Initiative in the
Department of Neighborhoods.
“The MBK Leadership
Conference offers Columbus a special opportunity at this critical moment in
time in our city,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “It will engage, empower and
educate young men of color to expand opportunities for their future.”
provides another opportunity for boys and young men of color to build
resiliency in the face of environmental stressors like poverty and unsafe
streets,” he continued. “Earlier this year, Council commissioned a study from
the Ohio State University's Kirwan Institute on Race and Ethnicity to ensure
that our work to bridge racial disparities is grounded in data and to move MBK
efforts forward in our City.”
The study includes
demographic information, strategic framework for understanding local issues
that can inform future policy and programming aimed at improving the quality of
life and access to opportunity for boys and young men of color in Columbus. It
is expected to be completed this winter.
results have shown that boys and young men of color are at a greater risk of
growing up in vulnerable neighborhoods," said Hardin. “This conference
will help attendees build coping mechanisms as the City, County, nonprofits and
the private sector work together to empower historically marginalized
communities and improve our neighborhoods.”