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Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Cities United works to support the network of Mayors who are concerned with the issue of keeping young Black men and boys and their families safe, healthy and hopeful. Cities United partners with these leaders in the quest to reduce the homicide of Black men and boys by 50% by the year 2025.

Our featured guest today is Anthony Smith, CEO of Cities United.

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KEY POINTS FROM ANTHONY:

  • I’m grateful for the time and space created at the convening to reconnect with our ancestors and recognize the 400th year since the first enslaved African came to the shores of America.
  • Cities United works to support the network of Mayors who are concerned with the issue of keeping young Black men and boys and their families safe, healthy and hopeful.
  • Cities United partners with these leaders in the quest to reduce the homicide of Black men and boys by 50% by the year 2025.
  • @CitiesUnited: Our goal is not only to keep Black men and boys alive but to help them thrive, with better educational and employment outcomes.
  • @CitiesUnited:  We work with cities to create a two-pronged approach to balance and prevention: (1) how do you keep young people, those who are in harm’s way, alive today; and (2) how do you create agendas and policies that break the cycle, so that we don’t have young men and women and girls in harm’s way.
  • We help cities design a comprehensive public safety plan, reimagining what public safety is, how it is defined, and how it’s funded.
  • Public safety is access to quality education, access to great housing, and access to jobs.
  • If young people are in harm’s way or in trouble, their parents are most likely in trouble, too.
  • We look at a two-generational approach — not just the youth in front of you, but who they go home to, and who supports them along the way.
  • Homicide is a national epidemic, but it happens in cities.  If we can help the cities with good strategies, we can help reduce that number.
  • Do your work in a way that it can be owned by the community, and no matter who is in office, the community is going to demand that this work continues.
  • Black male achievement highlights the fact that Black men and boys have always been able to achieve even with the disadvantage of racism and certain policies.
  • On Black male achievement, we consider how to celebrate those who are achieving, and how to create space for those who are struggling, and how to make sure that this is not about some of us but all of us.
  • We have to help young people find their purpose and then live in that purpose; we have to create space for them to do that.
  • If young Black men and boys are growing up in communities where they see themselves, where they know they can connect and thrive, we won’t have as many homicides and shootings, because they see other options and other ways out.
  • What we’re dealing with today is the remnants of all the bad policies — from redlining to urban renewal — all of the things that have kept our communities cut out of opportunities.
  • It doesn’t matter who is in office, because nobody is paying attention to the root causes of why we’re dealing with these issues.
  • Everybody wants to be tough on crime, but nobody wants to deal with the issue of why crime is produced.
  • Mayors are central to the strategy for creating the change we want to see; they have convening power with the ability to bring people to the table.
  • We’re about coaching and preparing the current generation of leaders and making sure that we create space for others.

 

 

ONE ACTION

  • Find your purpose — what you’re supposed to be doing — and stay true to that. 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

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