Newark holds ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ forum

1/22/2015, 1:17 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 6, Mayor Ras J. Baraka and other dignitaries hosted Newark’s first “Young Men of Color and Law Enforcement” ...
(Photos curtesy of Newark Press Information office)

Tuesday, Jan. 6, Mayor Ras J. Baraka and other dignitaries hosted Newark’s first “Young Men of Color and Law Enforcement” forum as part of President Barack Obama’s nationwide “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge” at Central High School, located at 246 18th Ave., in Newark’s Central Ward.

The forum was designed to address issues that damage the relationship between African-American and Latino youth and law enforcement. Among the subjects that were discussed were steps to improve education, reduce crime, enhance mentoring and engage youth in both their own lives and Newark’s development. Panelists included Department of Justice Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director Eugene Schneeberg, Police Director Eugene Venable, My Brother’s Keeper Director the Rev. David Jefferson Jr., Ebony magazine writer Keith Reed, YouthBuild Executive Director Rob Clark, Newark Central High School seniors Taj Atkinson and Atylgee Smith and police officers. MSNBC and CNN reporter and commentator Dr. Jelani Cobbs served as moderator.

In addition, Eric Garner Jr., the son of Eric Garner, the man who died in during a controversial police incident on Staten Island, was among the panelists.

The discussion covered a number of issues, including improving communications and understanding between law enforcement and youth, educating youth about their rights and responsibilities under the law, preventing violence and police and law enforcement careers. The panelists took questions from the audience, which consisted of all-male students at Central High School.