Page 8 The Skanner June 1, 2016 News U.S. Lawmakers, Mentors Reach Out to Young, Black Males at Forum By Lauren Victoria Burke , NNPA News Wire Contributor R ep. Frederica Wil- son (D-Fla.) hosted a recent summit on Capitol Hill fo- cused on mentoring for African American males. Wilson was joined by Reps. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), and Hakeem Jef ries (D-N.Y.). Rep. Wilson created a program called “5000 Role Models,” a dropout prevention and mento- ring program that op- erates within the public school system. The forum, which fo- cused on public policy around mentoring, was moderated by Michael Smith of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. “One of the biggest responses to the call to action on this issue has been from Capitol Hill,” Smith said at Wilson’s event. “We need to make sure that young people know that they matter.” Wilson said that she’s experienced, i rsthand, the powerful inl uence FREDDIE ALLEN/AMG/NNPA My Brother’s Keeper forum focuses on dropout prevention and mentoring Rep. Frederica Wilson founded “5000 Role Models,” a dropout prevention and mentoring program. This photo was taken during a press conference about the missing Chibok girls in 2015 that a caring adult can have on a young person’s life. “This inaugural [My Brother’s Keeper Cau- cus] forum is one of many events to come,” said Wilson. Before she came to Cap- itol Hill, Wilson worked as a teacher and served on the School Board in Miami, Fla. She told the audience in “ ing program called NBA Cares. David Shapiro, the CEO of MENTOR, a non-proi t group dedicated to clos- ing the mentoring gap, said, “We need to make mentoring a part of the fabric of American life.” Also present at the fo- rum were Michael A. DeVaul of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, N.C., Arnaldo A. Gonza- One of the biggest responses to the call to action on this issue has been from Capitol Hill. We need to make sure that young people know that they matter a packed room on Capitol Hill about the work of “5000 Role Models” and what motivated her to create the organization. One of the many partic- ipants on a long panel of experts was NBA legend and former Detroit Pis- ton Bob Lanier. “The NBA was one of the i rst organizations to step up to President Obama’s call of action,” Lanier told the full room during his remarks. The NBA has a mentor- lez, the chief of growth and development of Mi- ami-Dade Public Schools, Noelle Hurd, an assistant professor at the Univer- sity of Virginia, and Tom “Satch” Sanders, a for- mer Boston Celtics play- er. Lauren Victoria Burke is a political analyst who speaks on politics and African American lead- ership. She can be contact- ed at LBurke007@gmail. com and on twitter at @ LVBurke. Make The Skanner part of your daily routine Grab a headline on your mobile device. Enjoy an in-depth read on your desktop. Receive Breaking News in your inbox. Page through the print edition online.