“Black Males in a Violent Society”: Solutions and Empowerment Workshop
Recent police officer involved shootings have left some community members feeling there is a divide between law enforcement and black males. One local organization aimed to change that outlook with a solutions and empowerment workshop.
News 25’s Kendra Turley gives us a look inside.
Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are just two of the more recent black males to make headlines for fatal police officer-involved shootings. Their passing, along with the death of law enforcement officers, sparked conversation across the country and what some label as “growing tension” between black males and police officers. Gulfport teen Ahmad Williams said, “It’s all crazy to me. I think for me, I just want more information on how to keep positive and stay on the right track.”
Eager to help the community move forward, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Transitional Program organized a solution and empowerment seminar at the Isaiah Fredericks Community Center in Gulfport. The event served as a time to discuss recent tragedies as well as how to prevent them from happening in Gulf Coast communities. President of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Transitional Program Shaheed Ali said, “We just hope to educate, give our community some information, so we can try to help with this climate that’s going on now with a lot of police brutality. We just want to bring some knowledgeable people from the community in.”
Keynote speakers aimed their speech toward the safety and security of black males, but still touched on a variety of topics that everyone in the community could benefit from. Keynote speaker Shareef Nasir said, “I think that education is going to be one of the key components. I think that there needs to be an agenda behind it. There needs to be control within our own community.”
Organizers and assigned speakers hope this discussion helps steer the community forward and away from being a victim of violence. “I think they can take away an understanding of why and how the black community is in the rut that it’s in,” said Nasir.