Hundreds of teens came together in Milwaukee for a summit on the challenges young African-American males face and the paths to personal success.
About 600 African-American boys and teenagers attended the two-day Black Male Youth summit at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee earlier this month, Milwaukee Public Radio reported. The students' teachers encouraged them to participate because they are focused on college and careers.
The annual summit aims to help African-American males identify challenges they face, such as unemployment, poverty and mass incarceration, and find ways to achieve personal success.
George Walker, 12, attends Maryland Avenue Montessori School in Milwaukee. He said he's afraid police officers may profile him when he gets older because of negative stereotypes of African-Americans.
“Sometimes people glance at me weird. I'm kind of used to it now but it's just one of the weird encounters I've been having,” Walker said.
Walker said he hoped to get advice on how to deal with those kinds of situations.
Rylan Taylor is an 8th grader at the Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum. He said he hoped to improve his attitude and learn better problem-solving skills.
“If I don't think something is right, I'll just shut down and won't talk to anyone. I just shut down and stay mad,” Taylor said.
Treshawn Harvell is an 8th grader who attends Milwaukee College Prep School. He said he believes that African-American males need to start supporting each other.
“I think we should focus on helping each other instead of bringing each other down,” Harvell said.
Harvell said he hoped to learn mentoring skills at the conference.
Event organizer Kwabene Antoine Nixon began the event with a speech. The summit also included workshops that focused on certain issues, such as how to handle police encounters and conflict resolution.