DALLAS (CBS11) – It is a sad fact that the consequences of crime are not limited to those who make bad choices. So just blocks from where two men were found murdered in what police sources say was likely a drug related crime, a Dallas church is organizing to give young men better options in the hope of seeing better outcomes.READ MORE: Texas Department Of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller Admitted To Hospital
“To me it’s an epidemic,” says Pastor Bryan Carter, Senior Pastor at Concord Church. “To me it’s a crisis.”
In so many ways, Pastor Carter agrees that statistics are stacked against young men of color. “We’re the highest rate of those incarcerated. We have the lowest graduation rate, the lowest scores in math and science: in all the negative categories we lead.”
So Concord, located in the Red Bird area of Dallas, near Marvin D. Love Freeway and Camp Wisdom Road, is joining forces with dozens of other congregations and the African American Pastors Coalition to host a “Save Our Sons” conference on MLK Day, Monday, January 18th.
“We’re going to spend the day investing in their lives,” says Pastor Carter, “talking about their self-esteem, how to relate to women, how to relate to law enforcement. We’ll do some mentoring and team building. We want them to know they matter. We want them to know that we care.”READ MORE: Dallas Police Department Investigating After Anthony Dixon, 19, Killed
Single mom Kim Horton knows the critical role that support plays in bringing young boys to adulthood. “He had no male figures, no mentors,” she says of her now college aged son. “It was the deacons, the mentors here at Concord that basically helped me rear him, keep him on the straight and narrow…visits from Pastor Greene at the school.” Although her son is now in college, she says she still worries.
“I know I raised him right,” says Horton, “so I’m not worrying about his actions so much… just the environment, being at the wrong place at the wrong time…just stuff like that that really concerns me.”
So Horton is excited that the faith community is working to provide support to other young men before they make bad choices.
This is the first conference at Concord specifically targeting middle school boys. Organizers were hoping for 100 to register… they’ve already had more than 140 sign up. “And we had a school call today wanting to bring 75,” says Pastor Carter.
“If we don’t do something to engage our young men, help guide them we are going to keep reproducing a generation of young men who don’t have any direction, who don’t have any options.”MORE NEWS: Sheriff: Child's Skeletal Remains, 3 Abandoned Siblings Found In Apartment
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