Fort Wayne UNITED program gives opportunities to African American men and boys

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Fort Wayne leaders have created a program for young African American teenagers in the area.

Mayor Tom Henry joined criminal justice, non-profit clergy, health and education leaders in introducing the Fort Wayne UNITED program.

The UNITED program places two national efforts, Cities United and My Brother’s Keeper, into one program.

The leader’s vision for the program is that every black male Fort Wayne resident is respected, valued and has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The leading death of African Americans between the ages of 10 and 24 is homicide.

“I’m encouraged by the innovative approaches being implemented to move our City forward in the right direction,” said Henry. “Now more than ever, we must come together as a community to trust and support one another.”

The different parts of the program are below.

-Fort Wayne UNITED L.I.V.E. sessions (Listening to input and voices through engagement): An effort to create a safe place for African American males to share their thoughts and concerns on a variety of topics including education, employment and family.

-Fort Wayne UNITED L.I.V.E. forums: Quarterly meetings bring the Fort Wayne Police Department and African American males together to discuss perceptions, perspectives and experiences.

-Fort Wayne UNITED Public Safety Academy training: In partnership with the Fort Wayne Police Department, African American teens are exposed to real-life scenarios that allow them to experience training, experiences and challenges that local law enforcement faces daily.

-Fort Wayne UNITED late night basketball program: This proactive effort will begin next month as a way to provide young people with positive activities and reduce the likelihood of engagement in unlawful activity.

-Fort Wayne UNITED Choose Success Initiative: African American male residents will learn about the positive outcomes of good decisions and the negative consequences of poor decisions. Young people are exposed to hands-on experiences through the building trades and courtroom proceedings.

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