Home Grown Black Males

Changing the way we treat young black males by E. Charles Conway

It was August 9, 2014 and I was teaching a class in Cape Girardeau, when my phone started to vibrate non-stop. I picked the phone up and viewed a young black man lying in the street. I told the class that another brother had been shot in St. Louis.

As I continued the class, the phone just wouldn’t stop. I viewed it again, this time noticing a blood trail streaming away from the body. At that point someone shared that a police officer had shot this young black man, who turned out to be Michael Brown.

An immense feeling came over me, something I hadn’t felt since the age of 15. I didn’t realize until that moment that the incident from a police hitting me with a baton for no reason still was effecting me.

This was a turning point in my life and the way Preferred Family Healthcare addressed their issues. My vice president asked me one time what we were going to do with our consumers, because they were dying and it seemed that no one knew what to do. That bothered me, because I have been specially trained in cultural specificity and dealing with black culture. It hit me that I have been dealing with black culture but somehow in the process I had hit the snooze button. At that point it became my mission to change the way treatment is presented in St. Louis to black boys. Read more here.

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