100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge host community town hall aimed at rising gun violence
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge held a town hall Wednesday, Aug. 3, focused on the recent rise in gun violence.
“Parts of the community that I have called home for a minute are not recognizable to me,” Dennis Blunt, a concerned father said.
The organization invited hundreds of Black fathers and their sons to have an in-depth conversation about crime, and the solutions they are putting in place to address it.
“We don’t have a choice. We have to do this,” Michael Adams, President & CEO of the 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge.
Adams says crime came knocking on their door when one of their mentees, Albert Hawkins, 21, was shot and killed on Sunday, July 31.
But the biggest at the meeting, will this change anything?
There have been hundreds of programs over the years, but little has improved. Adams believes they have the key to make a difference.
“We believe as the 100 if we have more men involved in younger men’s lives, we believe we can chip away at the crisis that we’re involved in,” Adams said.
As a part of their anti-violence “Respect 4 Life” program, Adams says they will target the most at-risk youths in the city and offer different services that will include counseling, mental health resources, job skills training and other forms of education.
However, Adams says they need people to get off the sideline and step up to make this work.
“Until Black men stand up and start to say we’re going to support these efforts, change won’t happen,” Adams said.
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