Wednesday, September 17, 2008

African-American town hall meeting addresses social issues

This is out of the city of Rockford, Illinois. See the Chicagoland area isn't the only Illinois region that has a significant population of blacks. From the Rockford Register-Star:
Nationwide, 50 percent of African-American males do not graduate high school.

“In Rockford, seven out of 10 do not graduate,” Rockford School Boardmember Mike Williams said. “They are four times more likely to beexpelled, and we have a have a high truancy rate.”

Williams was one of about 25 men who participated in anAfrican-American Task Force town meeting Tuesday night at NorthwestCommunity Center.

The Task Force, recently established by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, ishosting a series of town hall meetings around the state this fall,dedicated to identifying and addressing social issues effectingAfrican-American males such as high school and post-secondaryeducation, incarceration and parole, economic earnings, child welfare,life expectancy and health disparities.

Based in part on the outcome of the town hall meetings, the Task Forcewill develop state programs and initiatives aimed at improving thelives of African-American men.

“In Chicago, we identified the need for a clearing house whereAfrican-American men can go for resources,” said Lloyd Sutton of theChicago-based Employment and Training Resource Development Services.“We’re here today trying to find out what Rockford needs.”
A lot issues being discussed here. Education is one issue and another is health care and nutrition. Another issue is what to do with these men after their incarceration is over.

Well let me take back a statement, Rockford may not exactly have a significant black population but East St. Louis does. I'd be curious to find an article about a town hall meeting there and they've long been a struggling community. I wonder what their needs are.

Via the Capitol Fax morning shorts.

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