|THE FIGHT FOR BLACK BOYS|
|Written by Elder Mathes Guice|
|Monday, 06 August 2012 13:07|
Elder Mathes Guice
(BLACK PR WIRE) – Our boys are at risk. Consider there are approximately 184,578 children between the ages of 10 and 17 in Broward County. Black children account for roughly 32 percent, yet they represent 51 percent of delinquency referrals versus 25 percent for white children. Fifty-five percent are judicially disposed, 57 percent are detained and 61 percent are committed to a secure facility, compared to their white counterparts at 25 percent, 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
In 2000, voters established the Children’s Services Council (CSC) of Broward County to focus on children through “leadership, advocacy, and funding for services for and on behalf of children.” Has the CSC achieved this goal? The CSC states its formula to distribute funding throughout Broward County is based on tax revenue for different communities. The higher the revenue generated, the greater return to the community. Meaning communities with the greatest need, who also generate less tax revenue, are penalized and therefore receive less public support.
In the Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males (2010), Black male graduation rates in Broward County were the third worst in the nation. Yet, the CSC passed on an opportunity to fund a program involving Broward County Public Schools that provided free transportation and teachers to tutor middle school boys in neighborhoods with high crime and unemployment.
Questions to the CSC will continue. But, this does not absolve our community of the responsibility to address the needs of our children. We can donate time, resources, and services to assist families in parenting, childcare and securing employment. Finally, we must exert pressure on local stakeholders, including the CSC, to ensure tax dollars are directed to communities and children most in need.
It is time for everyone to join us in the fight for our boys. If you want to participate, please call (954) 239-4297.
Elder Mathes Guice is director of the Men’s Ministry at Koinonia Worship Center & Village in Pembroke Park, a municipality his church helped organize in South Florida. He also serves as director of Practitioners Technical Institute, a faith-based community development organization focused on youth and economic empowerment.