The Community Advocates Public Policy Institute announced this week that it will host the inaugural “Making the Case” Symposium on September 18th from 9 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Italian Community Center in downtown Milwaukee.
It is the first in a series of conferences on the challenges facing black men in Milwaukee that the Public Policy Institute plans to host throughout the upcoming year.
The event will feature a keynote address by Shawn Dove, the Open Society Foundations’ campaign manager for Black Male Achievement.
Dove joined the Open Society Foundations in May 2008 as manager of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
He has more than two decades of leadership experience in youth development, education and community building.
He also served as one of the founding directors of New York City’s Beacon School movement in the early 1990s while working with the Harlem Children’s Zone.
As creative communities director for the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, he led a national initiative that partnered Community Schools of the Arts and public housing communities in 20 U.S. cities.
The “Making the Case” Symposium will begin to delve into Milwaukee’s Black male achievement gap from several different angles and discuss solutions to Milwaukee’s ongoing crisis.
Future symposia will focus more specifically on individual issues, such as education and employment.
“As a community, we need to move the needle on poverty, particularly in Southeastern Wisconsin, in order to make a significant impact. We need to take a hard and real look at the gap that exists with Black men compared to their peers,” said Robert Cherry, Director, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.
“The Black family has been disbanded. The missing piece is the Black male. It’s a serious issue that needs to be fixed.”
In May of this year, The National League of Cities (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education and Families selected Milwaukee and 10 other cities from a pool of 28 applicants to receive assistance as the cities work to reduce disparities between Black males and their peers.
Supported by the Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement, NLC’s City Leadership to Promote Black Male Achievement initiative will address a multitude of challenges that place young Black men and boys in cities across the country at significant educational, economic and social disadvantages compared with other children, youth and young adults.
The 11 project cities have all pledged to improve the life outcomes of Black men and boys by forming strong local partnerships; using data more effectively; developing comprehensive strategies focused on education, employment, family strengthening and violence prevention; and engaging young Black men and boys in civic life and local government.
“The ‘Making the Case’ Symposium is the next step in developing a framework for the Black male achievement initiative in Milwaukee,” Cherry said.
“It’s a critical step in the process and the Public Policy Institute is hoping community turnout will be significant and the dialogue around this issue will be informative and constructive.”
The event is free and open to the public, however registration is required. Please visit http://communityadvocates.net/ppi/ to reserve seating.