Six years after I first heard them, the statistics still haunt me: Eighty-six percent of Black children in the fourth grade read and do math below their grade level. Black girls between the ages of 15 and 24 represent the greatest number of people with new HIV infections. Homicide is the leading cause of death for our boys. The village is on fire! And our love is the healing water that legions of our precious children are literally dying for. When we listen, we hear their cries rising above the flames; their voices carry the dream-crushing pain and humiliation of intergenerational poverty: days of missed meals, uncertain safety and poorly resourced schools that are the pipeline to prison. These are among the many heart-wrenching things stealing the lives of impoverished Black children in the land of plenty, a land made rich and powerful on the backs of our ancestors where today under-resourced Black children have been all but discarded, even as we note significant anniversaries and strides toward justice and peace.
Why take the pledge?
Far too many Black youth continue to be demonized, criminalized and murdered.
Enough is enough!
In response to this intensifying crisis, the Black Youth Project (BYP) has launched “The Pledge.”
With “The Pledge,” we are asking individuals and organizations to close ranks around black youth and make a commitment to take action and fight with black youth as they confront a relentless crisis. We at the BYP believe that each person can make a difference by doing something!
By taking The Pledge we not only articulate our concern about black youth, but symbolically unite our voices with others who will work to confront this crisis.
If we each take action, whether it is starting a group, signing a petition, or mentoring a young person in your neighborhood, then we all become a part of the solution.
Stand With Black Youth!
Black Youth Project on Facebook
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