BY: Jeremie Samuel
On Thursday, July 12 the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys will start its open forum to address the issues concerning black men and boys in the state and the City of Pensacola. Identifying the problems of black males in Florida is one thing, but arriving at solutions for the problems is more important. Socioeconomic disparities are a major proponent of poor education and crime which affects many black males.
Consequently, the perpetual disparities still exist between black boys and their racially different counterparts in areas like standardize testing, high school graduations and disciplinary actions. According to The Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Council’s 2011 Annual Report, the percentage of black male students reading at level three and above in 10th grade continues to be dismal at 18 percent and black males are 19 percent less likely to graduate than white males. The same report said that black males are approximately two times more likely to be disciplined than whites.
The Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys, established in 2006 by the Florida Legislature, was initiated to study the conditions affecting young black males. Housed in the Office of the Attorney General, the Council has studied areas such as education, health, family, and criminal resources. This week, board members, led by Dr. Eddy Regnier of Sarasota, Fla., will share information and ideas that may help enhance the social condition of black men and boys in Pensacola.
Council members have traveled to communities throughout the state gathering data and holding conferences in its mission to alleviate and correct the conditions that negatively affect black men and boys in Florida. The open forum at City Hall is an opportunity for local organizations and the community members to express concerns and share possible solutions to popular problems black men and boys face. City Councilmen John Jerralds, who attended a Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys conference in Tampa earlier this year, said that this is an opportunity to learn what is going on in our state in general and what we can do locally.
“We ask that people come out and share information so we can expand that network of knowledge.” said Jerralds.
The business meeting will be held on July 12th, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the General Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr. State Office Building Regional Office Center. The public forum will be held on July 13th, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at city hall. For more information, please contact Tawanna Leven-Forbes at 850.414.3369. For information on the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys visit www.cssbmb.com.