COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Just as President Obama announced his new “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative this week, members of the Okolona community gathered Saturday morning to focus on improving the lives of young African American boys.
The event was facilitated by Baby Steps, an Okolona organization that supports children of at-risk families. Pastor L.T. Mabry of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church was the keynote speaker. Mabry emphasized the importance of being a father and mentor to young boys of color, teaching them respect and responsibility. Pastor Mabry says President Obama’s new initiative is a call to action for the community.
“I think it really pushes us to the challenge and let us know that as black men and men of color, that we’re going to have to step up to the plate because there’s much work that needs to be done. We’re the ones that are going to have to do it,” says Mabry.
Kwanza Boone is the Mentor Coordinator at Baby Steps.
“My goal is to teach the 3 & 4 year old boys the importance of etiquette and things like that. Growing up it’s kind of hard to break that pre-school to prison pipeline. I’m trying to do the best I can” says Boone.
Baby Steps will also host a “Cold Cuts” event next Saturday. They’re looking for male volunteers to take young boys to get their hair cut at the local barbershop. If you’d like to get involved, call 662-447-5040.