PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of men joined together to say enough is enough, especially after a string of deadly shootings involving young children. There are so many groups across the city aimed at educating youth and combating violence, but not all know about each other.
The goal of Monday night’s rally was to fill in the gaps and to man up.
“We can no longer talk about the racist system and all of these other things that certainly are true and certainly are there and certainly we acknowledge, but now, tonight, it’s time to man up,” radio host and columnist Solomon Jones said.
Over 400 people, mostly men of color, joined together inside Community College of Philadelphia to man up together.
As a wave of child shootings has swept over Philadelphia, community leaders are joining forces under the program and hashtag #ManUpPHL to consolidate their efforts.
“We have a blueprint. I just need more men to step in. Just show up,” said Taj Murdoch, CEO of Empowerment Achievement Movement.
Murdoch is also the CEO of the pilot program Men of Courage.
“Unfortunately, a lot of our young men only see life from what they see outside their door so we expose them to college tours, take them to different professional settings so they can see real-life reality success and particularly men that look like them,” Murdoch said.
Dozens of citizens and organizations came together.
“Bringing 400 men here tonight allows them to grow their organization’s capacity, allows the organizations to network with each other,” Jones said.
Together, attendees pulled out their phones, logging into the ManUpPHL database so they can coordinate efforts to help young people across the city.
“The goal is to help people do the work they are already doing,” Jones said.
Like Keeman Copeland, with the group Black Men Unifying Black Men.
“I’m sure that it’s going to be more of a benefit when the work starts coming into fruition with the different groups connecting with each other,” Copeland said.
If you want to get involved or have a program that would like to get involved, go to ManUpPHL.org.