Community Conversation: African American Males and Faith-Based Organizations
August Wilson Center for African American Culture

Jan. 31, 2013 

Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, above left, urged Pittsburgh’s faith community during a Jan. 31 forum to support African American male youth by assisting struggling families and promoting expanded community use of neighborhood public schools. Nelson is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness, which implements the social justice agenda of the Presbyterian Church. He was the featured speaker for a community dialogue sponsored by the Endowments’ African American Men and Boys Task Force on the role of faith-based organizations in addressing the needs of black men and boys.

More than 120 people, below, attended the discussion at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, including a number of local religious and community leaders. Joining Nelson in leading the conversation about ways faith communities can help increase self-worth and values such as responsibility and hard work among young African American males were a panel of religious leaders. They included Rev. Dr. William R. Glaze, above center, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church; Hammad Mahdi, above left, minister for the An-Nur Islamic Center; Rev. Richard L. Freeman, Sr., president of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network; and Rev. Eugene “Freedom” Blackwell, pastor of House of Manna. Rev. Glenn G. Grayson, a member of the Endowments’ African American Men and Boys Advisory Board and pastor of Wesley Center A.M.E. Zion Church, moderated the discussion.

(Photos by Joshua Franzos)

© 2017 The Heinz Endowments