FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 15, 2014
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins recently attended Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s "My Brother’s Keeper Community Summit," held at the James P. Timilty Middle School in Roxbury.
At the summit, Sheriff Tompkins — along with other law enforcement officials, community leaders, clergy, youth and other City of Boston officials — joined with Mayor Walsh, the City of Boston’s Chief of Health and Human Services Felix Arroyo, the Boston Foundation’s Travis McCready and Michael Smith, Special Assistant to President Barack Obama on the national initiative of My Brother’s Keeper.
With this new program, the City of Boston strives to reach milestones across programs, policies and practices that will deliver positive results for residents. The city relies on communities to work collaboratively across government, academia, private and public sectors, clergy, families and neighborhoods to close opportunity gaps and strengthen outcomes for all Bostonians, especially Black and Latino boys and men, to achieve their full potential.
Mayor Walsh established, a My Brother’s Keeper Boston Advisory Committee in September 2014, tapping over 40 committee members – including Sheriff Tompkins. The committee’s focus is directed towards the areas of Education, Economic Development, Health and Human Services, Civic Engagement and Public Safety.
“I am honored to have been chosen to serve on the My Brother’s Keeper Advisory Committee. There needs to be strong community, civic and elected leadership to offer the potential for positive outcomes for our youth, especially Black and Latino boys and men,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “I see first–hand the results of not having this kind of positive support to help our young people – especially men of color. Roughly 75% of my population on any given day is made up of Latino and Black men. This has to change and this initiative is a good first step in that process.”
After participating in breakout brainstorming sessions, Sheriff Tompkins addressed the merits of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative within the City of Boston.
“Care is a very important element of this initiative," said Sheriff Tompkins. "In the absence of care, kids can go off the tracks. So, what you have here with My Brother’s Keeper is an initiative to show that people really do care — adults really do care. Kids can feel that. They need to know that somebody is going to be there, particularly when things are at their worst. When they get into trouble, they need to know that there is going to be a caring adult who is not just looking to be punitive, but to really be that shoulder to lean on – to really care for and about them.”
“Again, this is a great objective," Sheriff Tompkins continued, "but it will mean nothing if it’s not sustainable. This cannot happen one time — there has to be consistent action for this to work.”
Public participation is needed for this process to be fully realized. The advisory board is encouraging everyone to share their ideas and feedback to help shape the future of Boston’s youth at: www.boston.gov/mbk.