Mayor launches “Inspiring Young Men of Color” Initiative

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. --  A new initiative called "Inspiring Young Men of Color" focuses on bridging the opportunity gap which Mayor Wharton claims young men in Memphis face everyday.

Patrick Payne believes life has its challenges when you are a young black man growing up in Memphis.

Payne said the "Inspiring Young Men of Color" initiative is going to help change that.

"It's like trying to get folks to stay out of trouble and have them together as one. Young black males as one," Payne explained.

It is a part of the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative President Barack Obama launched earlier this year.

"Education, employment, health and justice," Memphis Mayor A C Wharton shouted out.

Much like the national initiative, Memphis' plan is looking to fight racial disparities and give young people a chance.

"Generally when you focus on young men of color, the first thing you look for is, okay, where are the police officers, where are the folks in charge of the prisons and jails," Mayor Wharton said.

The initiative flipped the idea and called on agencies, businesses, communities, and leaders across the city.

Each team member is like a finger working together to make a fist and pack a punch.

"It's just long overdue," Delvin Lane, with 901 B.L.O.C., said.

Lane said the problems that need fixing are clear.

"Violence and the violence derives from a lot of different reasons," Lane explained.  "Money, lack of respect, lack of unity, lack of everything."

While the task will not be accomplished fast or easily, people like Payne hope it will make a difference.

"People I be around, I don't want them to go down the wrong way," Payne explained.

The group plans on monitoring the success of this initiative by using the same set of metrics the Memphis Gun Down program uses.


  • Pam

    Can we start an Inspiring White Young Adults initiative? Oh wait that would be racist and exclusionary.

    • Chuck Ransdell

      Couldn’t agree with your more, Pam. Typical Memphis activity. Help the poor, underprivileged black male and ignore the White and Latino populations.

    • John Jones (@puckerpooter) I

      The President is supposed to stand for all the people not racially divide the people and that is exactly what this man AC Wharton is doing as well. This is the most Racist, discriminate slap in the face of all Young Men!

  • atjohnson

    Okay, people complain about some of the problems caused by some of those who comprise this demographic (a legitimate complaint), but also complain about a targeted effort to address those problems (a legitimate effort)?

  • Bill Zebub

    HaHaHaHaHaHahahaha, try being a young person of anoher color and see how tough it is. Latino maybe?

  • Tommy Johnson

    Why not, “Inspiring Young Men of Memphis” as a title and not this racial dividing garbage.

  • City divided

    To repeat what I said in another post , Wharton and little, the great dividers! Now cram it honkers!

  • Reasonable

    I am a young black male. And i can say the majority of crime here is by young black men. But, i do disagree with the name of this “initiative” The only way to curb racism is to come together. We constantly create black only things. that doesnt help. Im sure there are young men of all races that need inspiring.

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