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Mississippi Leaders and Activists to Address Serious Issues Facing Black Men and Boys

Coalition Takes Aim at Policy Changes to Improve Opportunity and Life Outcomes for Black Fathers and Their Families

Jackson, MS – June 9, 2014 - On June 26, local elected leaders, educators, community leaders, business professionals, legal experts, and respected clergy will gather for a roundtable discussion, titled "Our Fathers, Our Brothers and Our Sons: Building Strong Family Legacies in Mississippi," at the Hilton Garden Inn in Jackson, MS. June 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. According the 2011 U.S. Census, the Jackson metropolitan area has one of the largest percentages of African Americans of any metro in America at 48 percent, with many more Blacks living in rural majority Black counties throughout the state. Too many of these Black families live below the national poverty line due to wage gaps, as well as a lack of access to legal, educational, healthcare and economic resources.

"For far too long African American men of color have been left out of the family circle and as a result there a brokenness.These fathers have a vital role to play in their children's lives," said Melbah Smith, Director of the Coalition for a Prosperous Mississippi.

"Our Fathers, Our Brothers and Our Sons" is expect to attract between 50 to 70 invited speakers and guests who will examine a wide variety of topics, specifically on the law, education and work. Kevin E. Hooks, President & CEO of the Las Vegas Urban League will serve as the moderator. The conference is organized by the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, as part of a strategic partnership with The Coalition for a Prosperous Mississippi (CPM) and the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP).

"The aim of our collective efforts has been to gather what is known about the conditions of African American men's lives and use that knowledge to inform advocacy," added Anne E. Price, Program Director for the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative. "We need a comprehensive advocacy campaign on behalf of black men that challenges inaccurate and negative stereotypes, is grounded in a social justice framework, challenges the myth that everyone can 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps,' and aims to break down the institutionalized barriers that keep African American men from making their desired contributions to their children and families, and their communities."

The roundtable will highlight promising solutions in communities around the state that are connecting black men to opportunities. (View Document: http://www.insightcced.org/uploads/crwg/What-We-Want-to-Give-Our-Kids.pdf.)

Brief Details Overview

When: June 26, 2014

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 235 West Capital Stree,t Jackson, Mississippi 39201



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