The Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement (OBME) operates as the only office of its kind in the United States of America. As an intentional branch of Philadelphia’s local governmental structure, the Office looks to serve as a “voice” and liaison between individuals/ organizations and local government. Utilizing a policy driven – collective impact model, OBME leads the City’s work around closing the opportunity divide for men and boys of color.
OBME works to align and focus resources and initiatives towards the specific goal of reducing economic and social disparities along with improving outcomes for Black men and boys and the communities in which they live. The overarching purpose of OBME also includes a focus on serving Latino, Asian, immigrant and other populations of men and boys in the City of Philadelphia.
In February of 2016, Mayor James F. Kenney appointed Jack Drummond to lead the office.
Public Statement re: David Jones – Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement
In a time when tensions are rising in a nation currently challenging its own tenants around liberty and justice, Black men are still suffering. We are suffering due to senseless acts of violence committed by all facets of society. In Philadelphia, the perception is that a big part of our suffering is born from the idea that movement around challenges that impact Black men seem slowly approached or unimportant. We know that members of the community want to hear what is being done about justice for Black men and how we are involved in transforming the narrative.
To be clear, the Office and the Commission has been monitoring the police-involved shooting incident of David Jones since the devastating incident occurred. We are asking for all due diligence from both the City and the State Attorney General as they conduct a thorough review and investigation of the case respectively. We are hopeful that communication regarding the aforementioned will include information about the deadly force policy as it applies to this case.
In the interim, it is important to work together as a community to ensure the safety of Black men and the integrity of the Philadelphia Police Department and other departments. The Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement and the Commission on African American Males will continue to support Black men in the city by advocating for justice for Black men & boys in Philadelphia.
Jack Drummond, Director
Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement
The Office of Black Male Engagement and the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males is committed to the equitable and fair treatment of Black men and boys in spaces of Justice, Education, Health & Wellness, and Economic Development.
Statement from Kevin Covington, Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males (MCAAM):
The Mayor’s Commission on African American Males is keenly aware of the challenges that exist here in Philadelphia, specifically those that impact the lives of Black men and boys. There are a number of incidents that involve Black men being mistreated by the Philadelphia Police Department and in some cases killed with little explanation and even less consequence. As many question the systems that are in place to protect them, the city must address these incidents.
The role of the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males is to develop policies that will improve the lives of our Black men and to give voice to a community that is too often viewed negatively. We want to serve as an incubator of positive change in Philadelphia for all Black men and boys and do the work necessary to lift and keep our Black men and boys in a positive light.