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Symposium Focuses On Minority Youths In Detroit

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"Boys of Color" symposium (WWJ Photo/Kathryn Larson)

“Boys of Color” symposium (WWJ Photo/Kathryn Larson)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – An event aimed at helping young men in the local African American and Hispanic communities rebound and succeed took center stage Saturday at Wayne County Community.

Hundreds of area youth attended the “Boys of Color” event hosted by the Skillman Foundation.

Talking to WWJ’s Kathron Larson, Skillman Foundation President Carol Goss saids too often young adults aren’t given a voice. She said this was the perfect place to talk about several key issues.

“All of these young people who really want our city to be a good place for them and they want to work on that,” said Goss. “So, we’re very pleased and proud to have this symposium.”

“This turnout is tremendous and it really does lift up the positive things that’s happening with young people in the city and the numbers of adults that care about them,” she said.

A broad range of topics were discussed from school dropout rates, to how to rebound and succeed by overcoming adversity, to the perception of Detroit Police.

Among the speakers was Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee.

“We got a chance to speak with young people in the symposium about law enforcement, whether we’re a friend or foe from their prospective … some problem-solving things that we can do to improve that relationship,” Godbee said. “And also to humanize a police officer. A lot of times young people don’t understand that we’re human also, some of the fears that we have when we work the street, some of the things we encounter.”

Godbee said he heard from a number of event attendees that they would be interested in a career in law enforcement, “… which really heartens me because young men of color have not always wanted to be police officers,” he said.

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