The inaugural convening of Cities United, drew over 200 city leaders representing 37 municipalities, including Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and others to launch campaign to stop violence-related deaths among African American men and boys.
The two-day working session, held in New Orleans, La. (February 26-27, 2014) will help guide Cities United’s effort to restore hope and opportunities to young men and boys directly affected by violence.
“In Philadelphia, young African American men and boys are 80 percent of the homicide victims and 75 percent of all the arrests we make for violent crime,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Across America, black victims are nearly half of all homicides even though they are only 13 percent of the population. Those numbers are staggering and cannot be ignored. The future of our nation depends on safe, prosperous communities where everyone has an opportunity to feel safe and succeed. Cities United helps mayors and city leaders focus on prevention rather than prosecution, intervention rather than incarceration, and provides data and tools to topple systemic barriers to opportunity facing African American men and boys. Together, we can expand support and intervention for these young men to prevent – and possibly even end – the violence in our cities.”
Cities United was launched under the leadership of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu with support from National League of Cities, Casey Family Programs and Open Society Foundations.