POSTED: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 4:45pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 4:49pm
BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — There's a laundry list of issues on the agenda for members of the 100 black men of Baton Rouge.
"We recognize the work will never be done," said 100 Black Men President Adell Brown.
The primary focus is violent crime plaguing the city. They said the effects paralyze neighborhoods and make it almost impossible to focus on other issues, like education and economic development.
"If we can begin to create a safe environment," Brown said. "Then we can work more with academic performance and achievement."
For two decades, 100 Black Men in Baton Rouge has focused on mentoring at-risk youth. They recently started an awareness campaign buying billboard spots all over the city, hoping the group's message of non-violence sinks in to some of the thousands driving by.
"People see it and say 'oh, I do have a choice,'" Brown said. "Others see it and say 'I need to go to work and make a better community."
Brown splits his time between 100 Black Men and his full-time spot with the Southern University Ag Center. Brown said Southern is poised and willing to play a major role in curbing crime, by helping with research and facilitation.
"There are a lot of things we can lend about best proven practices," Brown said.
100 Black Men has about 30 youths that they currently mentor. They work with them from middle school through college.