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2024 Empowerment Summit To Create Space to Uplift Black Males

The Mayor’s Office of Black Male Advancement (BMA) hosted the inaugural Empowerment Summit 2024 last Friday at Northeastern University’s John D. O'Bryant African American Institute. The summit provided space for discussions aimed at fostering empowerment and solutions within the community.

“It’s an honor to be in this space, with this group, with this community, and thank you to Frank Farrow and his team for all their work,”  said Mayor Michelle Wu during the Fireside Chat. “Thank you to the Chair Tito Jackson who is not just leading this iteration of the commission, but really is the reason we have this Commission in the first place - reflecting voices of the community over a decade ago to make that push. I am really glad that we got to just pick up the charge to get the Office across the finish line, get it staffed up, and get the best leadership in charge of it.”

The summit kicked off with Mayor Michelle Wu, highlighting the city's commitment to equity and the Black community. News Anchor Glenn Jones of NBC10 moderated the conversation with Mayor Wu and BMA Executive Director Frank Farrow, in which the Mayor offered systemic insights into the city's support for Black males, while Farrow discussed the Office’s role in addressing the racial wealth gap, pathways to college and career, as well as affordable homeownership in the City of Boston.

"The BMA Empowerment Summit represents a pivotal moment to communicate the work our Office has been doing to reduce systemic barriers to advance and improve outcomes for Black Men and Boys,” said Frank Farrow, Executive Director of the Office of Black Male Advancement.  “It is critical that we continue the collaborative work of ensuring that we are driving towards population level change for Black males in the City."

The summit featured distinguished speakers and panelists, including an address by US Congresswoman Federica Wilson, Chair of the U.S Commission on Social Status of Black Men and Boys, as well as Dr. Adren Wilson, Executive Director of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

Panel discussions included:

  • Pathways to Generational Wealth
  • Closing Opportunity and Achievement Gaps for Black Boys
  • Beyond Employment: Empowerment through Economic Opportunity and Workforce Development
  • Buy the Block: Navigating Homeownership and Development

"Attending the Black Male Advancement Empowerment Summit was inspiring and instigated self-reflection,” said Ron Marlow, a panelist and VP of Workforce Development and Alternative Education, ABCD, Inc. “We were forced to consider: what have I done; what am I doing; and, more importantly, what will I do in furtherance of the goal of advancement? I look forward to returning next year and reporting out what I did over the preceding year, individually and cooperatively, to achieve this goal.”

Moving forward, the summit will serve as a platform for the Black Men and Boys Commission, City of Boston agencies, community leaders, and residents to engage in meaningful dialogue, share best practices, and chart a course for collective action to advance the well-being of Black men and boys in Boston.

 A livestream of the Fireside Chat is available here, and the full recording of the Empowerment Summit will be posted on the Office of BMA website.

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