Leaders will focus on reducing the violence that kills 13 African American men and boys every 24 hours

Philadelphia, April 29, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter welcomed to Philadelphia thirteen U.S. mayors and more than 300 city leaders to the 2nd annual convening of Cities United, a conference in which 57 municipalities will work to develop concrete action plans to reduce the violence plaguing African-American men and boys in communities across the nation.

“We are losing precious human lives at an unprecedented rate and draining our communities of valuable resources,” said Mayor Nutter. “At this Cities United convening we will have all hands on deck to address this complex problem. Together, with collaboration and determination, we can stem the tide of violence and restore peace on our Nation’s streets.”

The 2015 Cities United convening, Mobilizing for Change, is a three-day gathering that will facilitate interactive dialogue among mayors, youth and thought leaders from across the country. Subject matter experts, including representatives from foundations, will share with city leaders technical assistance and development strategies aimed at improving outcomes for African-American men and boys.  City representatives will collaborate to create concrete action plans to implement in their home cities.

Featured speakers during the convening include Mayor Nutter; Ronald Davis, Director of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing; Shawn Dove, CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement; Dr. William C. Bell, President and CEO of Casey Family programs; and Tim Wise, essayist, educator and author of White Like Me.

Homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American males between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Conference participants will tackle related topics that include: youth violence prevention; recognizing and responding to trauma in the lives of black boys and young men; improving employment outcomes among African American youth; and effective strategies for engaging philanthropy.

Cities United was launched in 2011 by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who partnered with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Casey Family Programs President and CEO William C. Bell to forge a national network of communities focused on eliminating violence in American cities related to African American men and boys. Today this movement has grown to 76 U.S. mayors committed to working with community leaders, families, youth, philanthropic organizations and other stakeholders to reduce the epidemic of homicides and violence plaguing African American men and boys.

These cities are also focused on restoring hope to their communities and building pathways to justice, employment, education and increased opportunities for citizens.

Cities United partner mayors attending the 2015 convening are the following:

  • The City of Birmingham, AL – Mayor William A. Bell
  • The City of Camden, NJ – Mayor Dana L. Redd
  • The City of Gary, IN – Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson
  • The City of Kansas City, MO – Mayor Sly James
  • The City of Madison, WI- Mayor Paul Soglin
  • The City of Milwaukee, WI – Mayor Tom Barrett
  • The City of Minneapolis, MN – Mayor Betsy Hodges
  • The City of Newton, MA- Mayor Setti Warren
  • The City of Patterson, LA – Mayor Rodney Grogancc
  • The City of Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Michael Nutter
  • The City of Riviera Beach, FL – Mayor Thomas Masters
  • The City of Washington, DC – Mayor Muriel Bowser


Always check in at registration.  All events are located in the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market Street.

Cities United sessions open to the press:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

12:15 PM – 

12:55 PM

Opening Session Welcoming Remarks

Mayor Nutter to deliver remarks.

Salon H-J
12:55 PM –

2:45 PM

Why Race Matters – Perspectives and Discussion

An opportunity to hear from Cities United principals and youth about the current experiences of African-American males in America.

Salon H-J

Thursday, April 30, 2015

9:10 AM –

11:00 AM

Bridging the Gap – Improving the Relationship with Communities of Color and Law Enforcement

Panel discussion about local city strategies for addressing challenging and racially charged circumstances, with a focus on the relationship between community and police

Salon H-J
11:00 AM – 

11:15 AM

Press Conference Franklin 8
11:15 AM – 

12:15 PM

Crafting a Strong Narrative about African American Men and Boys

Panel discussion about important strategies for advancing a meaningful narrative that focuses on African American men and boys.

Salon H-J
3:00 PM – 

4:15 PM

Lifting Up Youth Voices from Around the Country

Panel discussion about building an understanding of African American males’ unique experiences, building capacity for meaningful youth engagement and impactful strategies.

Salon H-J
Posted in Mayor's Press Releases
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