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Black Lives Matter

Source: Anadolu Agency/Contributor / Getty

New York, NY (May 5, 2015) – Community leaders and change agents are invited to participate in a nationwide telephone town hall with Legendary entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte on Wednesday, May 13, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., EDT.

Sponsored by the National CARES Mentoring Movement, the nation’s largest and most highly regarded organization recruiting African American mentors and building transformational programs for vulnerable children, author and CARES consultant, Asha Bandele, will interview Mr. Belafonte and also open up lines so that the public may join the discussion.

“Over the generations Black lives have been devalued and today our young people, under relentless assault, are standing strong to end the centuries-long persecution that has killed the soul of the nation,” said Susan L. Taylor, founder and CEO of National CARES, and editor-in-chief emerita of Essence magazine.

“Our children have been on the frontlines challenging policies and practices that are literally killing them,” continued Taylor who will also be part of the discussion.   “The question is what must we do right now as caring community leaders, parents, mentors and allies to support them and ensure victory?”

As was the case in several cities since the killing of unarmed Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson last summer in Ferguson, Missouri, several nights of protest and unrest in Baltimore followed the death of Freddie Gray, the young Black man who succumbed to his injuries a week after being arrested by city police for apparently no reason. Six officers have been charged with Gray’s death. Gray’s name is the latest to be added to a growing list of unarmed Black men and women who have been killed by law enforcement with frightening regularity.

The National CARES Mentoring Movement was launched in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. Mentors now serve more than 200,000 young people as role models, tutors, reading buddies and graduation coaches in schools, youth-support organizations and reentry programs.

Belafonte, a confidante of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has been an advocate for humanitarian causes throughout his long and distinguished career. He has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1987, and is the celebrity ambassador for juvenile justice issues for the American Civil Liberties Union.

There is no cost to participate in the telephone town hall but space is limited and registration is required. To join the conversation, please register here.

After Baltimore: Legendary Activist Harry Belafonte Brings Leaders, Community Together For Telephone Townhall  was originally published on