The City’s Office of Black Male Engagement In Philadelphia Is Working To Empower Black Youth

The City’s Office of Black Male Engagement In Philadelphia Is Working To Empower Black Youth

March 1, 2023 0

“When Black men and boys are getting their needs and concerns met, and receiving the resources and opportunities they deserve, this city changes for the better.”

Those words were spoken by Eric Westbrook, Director of the Office of Black Male Engagement, during a recent interview with Metro. Westbrook is working to empower the city’s Black youth and wants to get a simple message to people of color in Philadelphia: we are here to help

Eric Westbrook
Eric Westbrook, Director, The Office Of Black Male Engagement

Throughout the course of the year, the Office of Black Male Engagement hosts and partners with organizations to hold local events in an effort to build the bridges necessary to keep Black men and boys engaged and involved in the progression of Philadelphia.

The office recently hosted a Black Generational Wealth Series at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Important topics discussed at the series included how to create a business in the city, first time homeownership programs, and speaking on historical practices that have discriminated against the African American demographic in ownership and reparations. There were other financial aspects of wealth discussed, such as community work and investing in one’s community. 

“We wanted to create something where we were talking about generational wealth. Not get rich quick schemes, but more so how can we redefine wealth for a lot of our community,” said Westbrook. “

Eric Westbrook, Director, The Office Of Black Male Engagement

He continues:

If we’re talking about black generational wealth, we have to talk about where it starts, how we can maintain it, what needs to be repaired and what’s broken. This is really the genesis of the series that came about, looking at the problems and the challenges and how we can create a solution.” 

Eric Westbrook, Director, The Office of Black Male Engagement

The mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement has been an agent of black youth empowerment in Philadelphia since 2011.

The goal is to support the work of organizations that help Black men and boys throughout the city and be accessible to everyone.

The Office of Black Male Engagement also headquarters “My Brother’s Keeper Action Academy” — a bimonthly initiative that allows the office to hold programming and engagement events within the community, notably, the Black Generational Wealth Series and another local favorite, Brothas Stroll Walk, a neighborhood-based walk to raise awareness of Black men’s health. Additional events focus on economic development and education, in which the office partners with the School District of Philadelphia.

“It’s important to bring attention to all these areas that impact Black men and boys and find ways to increase engagement,” said Westbrook.

BMI Staff
BMI Staff