Nov201426

100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis
Statement on Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

100 Members, Corporate & Community Supporters:

The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the actions of Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCullough has brought national attention and unrest to our city and community. The 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis are deeply disappointed and frustrated with the grand jury’s decision in relation to the death of Michael Brown. Although we do not condone the violence that has occurred as a result of this decision, we do understand the anger, anxiety and discontent from the community and support the right of citizens to engage in lawful protests!

This anger and displeasure has been reflected throughout the nation with over 35 US cities experiencing similar protests and disgruntlement from its citizens. The 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis shares the community’s hurt and disgust over this decision but as time passes, it is our hope that the St. Louis Community and the nation returns to a place of peace and reconciliation.

We believe the most effective way we can help our community reach this peace and reconciliation is to continue focusing on our mission of mentoring African American youth and improving the quality of life in our communities. Our determination to enhance the educational & economic opportunities in our community must be unwavering and steadfast as we tackle this system of disrespect and contempt. Additionally, our other programs in Education, Health & Wellness and Economic Empowerment will continue to serve as an umbrella of support and affirmation in our community. We are committed to ensuring that all youth, in particular African American youth, are provided the skills and resources to effectively navigate life and become positive and contributing citizens not only in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area but also throughout the world.

The 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. remains in unison with the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and its network of chapters that have identified the lack of respect for black lives, under representation in policy making and governance processes, and disparities in education, income and access as the primary areas that must be addressed to safeguard against another “Ferguson”. While expanding our role in various areas, The 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis is committed to staying focused on our mission and keeping true to our programmatic initiatives. We will continue to utilize our “Five for the Future Programs” of Mentoring, Education, Health & Wellness, Economic Empowerment and Leadership as the foundation for the advocacy and intervention work in which we will participate. Our response will continue to be thoughtful, deliberate, strategic, impactful and sustainable.

We strongly encourage everyone in the St. Louis Metropolitan area to join us in providing mentoring and other educational opportunities to the next generation of our youth. We also need to do more to support this generation in advocating for justice and violence prevention in St. Louis. The Michael Brown tragedy demonstrates the need for each of us to become actively involved and volunteer our time, talents and efforts to mentor the future leaders of our respective communities.

The 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. hopes that everyone will adopt our call to action and help us create solutions to make our city a safe, vibrant and healthy community for our youth and all of its residents.

Joseph Anderson, President

100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.