Why Cities United

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1. “We have created a situation of perpetual hopelessness in communities across America. Cities United is a movement for mayors and local leaders who have decided that they can no longer ignore the enormous magnitude of loss that is experienced in America every day.”

- William C. Bell, President and CEO, Casey Family Programs

2. “As mayors, it’s up to us to set the standard to convince individuals who live in the safe neighborhoods who have decent jobs, who have decent incomes that it’s worthy of us to spend our time and resources on dealing with the issues that our young black males in our community present. We’re reclaiming our communities, we’re building a new future for all of our citizens, we’re living up to the pledge that we made when we swore to uphold the Constitution.”

- Mayor William A. Bell, City of Birmingham

3. “Eighty five percent of homicide victims in Philadelphia are African American; seventy five percent of homicide victims are black males. The number one cause of death for those 15 to 35 is homicide in my city.”

- Mayor Michael Nutter, City of Philadelphia

4. “It is an inconvenient truth that we have a murder epidemic on our hands where black men and boys are dying on the streets of America, and ending it will not be easy, but it is a fight we must all be in together.”

- Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City of New Orleans

5. Homicide is the leading cause of death for black males between the ages of 15 and 24, and is responsible for more deaths of black males in this age group than the nine other leading causes combined.

- Centers for Disease Control (2010)

6.  In major cities wracked by the war on drugs, up to 80% of young African American men now have criminal records and are thus subject to legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives.

- The New Jim Crow (Alexander, 2010)

7.  If current trends continue, one in three young African American men will serve time in prison.

- U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (Bonczar, 2003)

8.  It is estimated that as many as 10 million children per year witness or are victims of violence in their homes.

- U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (2003)

9.  Exposure to violence has a devastating impact on a child’s development, affecting emotional growth, cognitive development, physical health and school performance.

- Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center

10.  Every 24 hours in America, 13 young people under the age of 25 are victims of homicide.

- Centers for Disease Control (2012)

11.  African Americans are victims of nearly half of all homicides in America, despite representing only 13% of the population.

- Bureau of Justice Statistics (2005)

12.  Black males in America are incarcerated at a rate of more than 6 times that of white males.

- Bureau of Justice Statistics (2014)


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