Tracy Martin, the father of the African-American teenager who was shot and killed last year in an incident that renewed national debates over race relations, urged members of Congress to improve the educational opportunities of black boys.
Nationwide, statistics show that African-American boys tend to have poorer educational outcomes than their white peers. An Education Week report found such students are disproportionately affected by school discipline policies, effectively funneling them into “school-to-prison pipelines.”
Martin, with three other experts and advocates, testified yesterday at a hearing by the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys, on the status of America’s black youth and men, and the efforts needed from politicians and community members to help provide more opportunities for black youth and men and improve their outcomes in society.
The hearing came in the wake of the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch leader who shot the unarmed Trayvon Martin in February 2012, after calling police to report that the younger man looked “suspicious.” Mr. Zimmerman claimed that his actions were in self-defense.
“As citizens, we can’t stand by and let a not guilty verdict dictate what our youth legacy becomes,” the elder Martin said at the hearing.
David Johns, the executive director at the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, stressed the need for programs and mentoring to address the achievement gap between black children and their higher-performing white and Asian counterparts, and the need for increased entrepreneurial opportunities among black males.
“Neither ZIP code nor skin tone should predetermine the quality of a child’s opportunities,” Johns said, but as some of Education Week’s coverage suggests, this is not the case in some parts of the country.
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Joins Million Father March 2013
A CALL TO ACTION
The recent financial circumstance confronting the Philadelphia school system, has threatened the very existence of Public Education in the fifth largest City of the United State of America.
As the co-coordinator of the Philadelphia Million Father March, I urge, implore, and appeal to all the men who have participated in the event and those on the sidelines to come forward and demonstrate, force and concern by walking every child to school on the first day of the upcoming school year -sign up now and let us begin the task at hand!
Act Now: sign-up, help out, donate $5.00 or more if you can. Call David Fattah 215-473-5893 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have functioned as a Business and Media Consultant over the past sixteen years and spent many years developing my capacity to function in our ever evolving use of technology, communication, education and training.