The death of innocent 8 year-old Tristan Hutchins who died from gunshot wounds suffered in a March drive-by shooting in Southeast Houston was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Tristian, a Black male, was allegedly shot by another Black male who will more than likely spend the rest of his life in prison. At the time of this press release, 3 year-old Sir Romeo Milam is fighting for his life at Texas Childrens Hospital after being struck by a stray bullet in Southeast Houston’s Kings Row Apartments; the result of an altercation between two groups. What appears to be an endless cycle of violence has become a crusade for Deric Muhammad and the “Smart’n Up” Black Male Summit.
At the same time, unarmed Black males like Houston’s Danny Ray Thomas and Stephon Clark from Sacramento are still dying at the hands of law enforcement with no repercussions while the Houston Independent School District faces the closure of 10 schools; all in Black and Brown communities. A recent New York Times article reports that Black boys raised in middle class neighborhoods earn significantly less money than White boys raised in the same community. There are obstacles faced by Black men and boys that require a concentrated approach. The “Smart’n Up” Black Male Summit is becoming a force to help address these issues in Houston and nationwide.
The Summit is a day filled with motivational presentations, high-energy workshops and positive interactions with a specific purpose of addressing inner-city violence and the importance of education. This year’s summit lists sponsors like Mayor Sylvester Turner and features celebrity appearances like rapper Zro.
WHAT: “Smart’n Up” Black Male Summit
WHO: Activist Deric Muhammad and others.
WHEN: Saturday May 19th – 12pm
WHERE: The Shrine Cultural & Events Center
5309 Martin Luther King Blvd.