ABOVE PHOTO: Mayor Jim Kenney with the reestablished Mayor’s Commission of African American Males. (Photo: @phillymayor twitter)
On Tuesday, Mayor Jim Kenney, the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of Black Male Engagement announced the establishment of the Mayor’s Commission of African American Males (MCAAM) for the City of Philadelphia. MCAAM will study the varying and diverse conditions of Black men in Philadelphia and provide yearly reports of recommendations to the Mayor on how to affect positive outcomes for Black men and boys.
MCAAM is housed under the Mayors’ Office of Public Engagement (OPE), led by Deputy Mayor Nina Ahmad, and will be managed by the Mayors’ Office of Black Male Engagement (OBME), a branch of OPE under the direction of Jack Drummond.
“The work of MCAAM will be driven by the urgency to create policy that can improve the lives of African American men in Philadelphia, but also be a way for their stories to be shared and amplified,” Ahmad said.
“While this commission is comprised of African American men, the diversity of their lives – age, sexual orientation, careers, education – is a strength and an asset to the city,” Drummond said.
The MCAAM is comprised of 28 individuals appointed by the Mayor and includes representatives of government, business, education, labor, health and civic organizations. MCAAM is constituted as a permanent commission by way of voter referendum on April 2016.
The Office of Public Engagement (OPE), led by Deputy Mayor Nina Ahmad, Ph.D., OPE enhances community outreach and engagement efforts on behalf of city government. OPE also collaborates with other department to ensure efficiency of resources and is comprised of The Office of Black Male Engagement, Women’s Commission, Youth Commission, Millennial Advisory Commission, and several other advisory commissions.
The Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement (OBME) operates as the only office of its kind in the United States of America. OBME works to align and focus resources and initiates towards the specific goal of reducing economic/ social disparities and improving outcomes for Black men and boys, as well as the communities in which they live. The purpose of OBME is to serve African American, Latino, Asian, immigrant and other populations of men and boys in the City of Philadelphia. In February of 2016, Mayor James F. Kenney appointed Jack Drummond to lead the office. OBME provides and coordinates advocacy services for men and boys of color and in other vulnerable populations
MCAAM Commissioners are listed below:
Rafiq Diya Al-Fareed, business executive
Joel Austin, Founder, President & CEO, Daddy University, Inc.
LaMont Brown, Creator, Annual KickBack Festival
Antar Bush, Health Education Coordinator, AIDS Activities Coordinating Office of Philadelphia
Thomas Butler, Director for Advancement and Operations, Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable
Rashiid Coleman, Dean of Culture, Mastery Charter Schools
Gregory Corbin, poet and educator
Kevin Covington, Support Coach, Center for Male Engagement, Community College of Philadelphia
Sharif El-Mekki, Principal, Mastery Charter School-Shoemaker Campus
Dr. W. Wilson Goode, President and CEO, Amachi, Inc.
Kevin Harden, Attorney, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
Shaun Harper, Founder, Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education
Gary Hines, President, The Gary Hines Consulting Group, LLC
Marc Holley, Climate Manager, Martha Washington Elementary School
Anton Moore, Founder, Unity in the Community
Christopher Norris, CEO, Techbook Online
Steve Paul, Conflicts Researcher, Dechert LLP
Bilal Qayyum, President and Executive Director, Father’s Day Rally Committee, Inc.
Wadell Ridley, Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations, Saint Joseph’s University
Michael Robertson, Nicetown Community Development Cooperation
Michael Robinson, Director of Community Outreach – Human Resouces Division, Temple University
Jason Smith, Director of College Support, KIPP Philadelphia Schools
Seitu Stevens, Interim Campus Director, Lincoln University Coatesville Campus
Isaiah Thomas, Director of Community Affairs for the City’s Controller
Le Thomas, President, Philadelphia Black Gay Pride
Darin Toliver, MSW, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children’s Center for the Urban Child
Steve Vassor, Principal, AMPED Strategies
Wayne Williams, Education Services Director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Grant