The City Council today unanimously endorsed a proposal by Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) to create a commission on the status of black men and boys.
Jackson said that two years after Trayvon Martin's death, Boston faces a crisis: Black boys are twice as likely as Asians and whites to drop out of school, they're more likely to get involved in the criminal justice system and to be a victim of a violent crime, "and their life expectancy is shorter."
Jackson said he hopes the commission will focus on boys and men from "cradle to career," and to focus on positives, on how to ensure they enjoy "long, healthy lives."
At-large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who has been active in promoting similar issues for black girls and women in Boston, praised Jackson's proposal.
"There is an epidemic" affecting young black men, she said. "Our black boys are capable of much more than pulling a trigger."
"Black boys and men can instill hope and foster peace and head their households and lead their community," she said.
Although every councilor signed onto Jackson's proposal, under council rules it still needs to go to a council committee for consideration and a public hearing before it is formally approved.