MILWAUKEE, WI - From a high school classroom to a college campus —community advocates are challenging male students of color to change the world around them.
“I just want to see more of my color,” Johntae Martin, a student at Washington High School, said.
As Martin mulls over diversity or a lack thereof in communities surrounding him, other students are focused on tackling gun control and police brutality.
“[The other students here are] having the same problems as me [and] going through the same things as me,” Martin said.
That’s why Martin, who’s grown up without a father, said he belongs at the first Leadership and Brotherhood Summit for Young Men of Color. The summit is a collaboration between Milwaukee Public Schools and Marquette University.
Lanelle Ramey, the director MPS's Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement said eight schools were selected to attend the summit and since the launch of the district’s program last year suspensions are down among students in the program.
"Statistically speaking, [black and brown men are] the ones that need the most support, but too many times, we tell our young boys of color that they’re broken, but we realize they’re not the [broken ones,] It’s the systems that are broken,” Ramey said.