WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First and foremost, we want to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Michael Brown – another young black man, another victim of violence. While the details surrounding his death are still unclear, the fact remains that a mother and a father lost a son and the Ferguson community lost the possibility that his life could bring. We want to reiterate President Barack Obama's earlier sentiments calling for peace and an end to the violence in Ferguson. Though there is a clear feeling of devastation and outrage over this young man's death, violence and continued unrest will only further harm the fabric of this community.
We commend President Obama for his decision to send Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson in support of the Department of Justice federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown. We also want to support any and all local leaders working inside and with municipal government who believe in advancing the achievement and opportunity for all citizens regardless of their race or gender.
We know lasting change begins on a local level and municipal leaders have the power within their reach to topple barriers to equal opportunity for everyone in their community, including African-American men and boys who often face steep obstacles.
We support community policing practices that treat young black men as community members deserving of the respect to be protected and served as all citizens. We must also work to end the negative stereotyping and character assassination of our children and begin to celebrate our young black men for the assets and contributors they can be and are to our society and communities. We can begin this process by facilitating conversations between young black men and law enforcement in cities across the county.
Cities United seeks to reduce the violent deaths of young black men, while President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative works to create ladders of opportunity for young men of color. Now more than ever, our nation needs to come together around these two issues. Let's all pray for peace in Ferguson. Cities United is a national movement to equip mayors and local leaders with the tools, practices, skills and resources needed to effectively eliminate the violence-related deaths of African American men and boys. Cities United was launched in 2011 under the leadership of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu with support from the National League of Cities, Casey Family Programs and the Open Society Foundations' Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Additional support comes from the Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter Mayor Mitch Landrieu
City of Philadelphia City of New Orleans
SOURCE Cities United