After recent events involving police and black youth, ADC Prevention & Services of Springfield, Massachusetts started offering a positive intervention strategy! On April 21st ADC sponsored its first ever Black Boys Matter Summit. This one day event is designed to provide a platform where black youth and law enforcement officers from Federal, State and Local departments can discuss and practice how to have safe interactions with each other. Special guest, John Gibbons, United States Marshall, was there to speak and participate! Using an outdoor setting at Pine Brook Camp and Conference Center in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, Arnold Cox of ADC Prevention, desires to create an atmosphere where black boys and members of law enforcement can interact and relate on neutral ground. “It is important for both groups to value, trust and respect each other. At the end of the day, everyone deserves to live and go home!”
Not only were there be seminars, but also team building and trust activities where both parties could improve their ability to communicate with one another and build a mutual respect. Arnold’s passion to help black boys comes from his own past, growing up in the projects of Chelsea, MA, along with an interaction his own son Brandon Cox experienced. Brandon and his friend D.J. Henry were shot at by police. Brandon was injured and D.J. lost his life in Pleasantville, NY. The goal is to have multiple summits a year, bringing youth from other cities and uniting them with law enforcement from their neighboring towns. If you would like to have a summit in your town, please contact Arnold D. Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413.796.1330.