From the office of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: Â Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys, will chair the Caucusâ€™ first hearing, entitledÂ â€œThe Status of Black Males: Ensuring Our Boys Mature Into Strong Men,â€Â onÂ Wednesday, July 24, 2013, fromÂ 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., inÂ 2237 Rayburn House Office Building.Â Â The hearing will feature three prominent black men â€“ former Congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, author and Georgetown University professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans David J. Johns â€“ who will each discuss one of three phases of a Black maleâ€™s life in the United States today, from childhood through the teenage years to manhood.Â Members of the Caucus will question the witnesses following their testimony.
â€œAlthough not timed with the conclusion of the Trayvon Martin trial, the Black Men and Boys Caucus inaugural hearing is right on time,â€ said Norton.Â â€œOur nation and our African American community need to bring our Black men and boys to center stage.Â With this inaugural hearing, our new Caucus on Black Men and Boys begins our mission to take on the challenges facing our men and boys, and to ask our fellow Americans and African Americans to do the same.â€
â€œFifty years after the March on Washington it is an unfortunate fact that today young black men are still more likely to be unemployed, to be expelled from school, to be stopped at random on the street because they have been profiled, to be sent to prison, to not have access to regular quality health care, or to have suffered gun violence,â€ said Davis.Â â€œWe know that our nation cannot be true to its values, indeed cannot sustain itself divided by such persistent inequalities.Â This hearing is a key step into focusing the attention and creativity of our nation into addressing the profound causes and consequences of this great divide.â€
The Caucus was established this March to serve as a platform to share and support ideas and initiatives in the Congress, and among officials and communities nationwide, and as a vehicle for raising consciousness on the most persistent issues that disproportionately affect African American men and youth, from employment training and HIV/AIDS to criminal justiceÂ and family breakdown.