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.
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Martin Luther King Day of Service Statement
Martin Luther King, Jr., was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement. He encouraged nonviolent tactics, such as the massive March on Washington (1963), to achieve civil rights. This moment embodied his leadership style and was fundamental to the movement’s success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a successful leader, he was powerful and humble and utilized his platform to influence the Black community.
A leader must have a vision that is based on principles that appeal to and benefit the masses. An example would be to state a vision that “declares the future”. Dr. King’s vision was that all people are created equal, and he declared his vision in what has been identified as one of the greatest speeches of all time: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service celebrates the life and legacy of a phenomenal Black man who brought hope and healing to America. His timeless values taught us the importance of courage, justice, and service that defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this day, the Office of Black Male Engagement would like to commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.
We are ALL called on this holiday, not merely to honor, but to immerse ourselves into the ways of Dr. King’s teachings which emphasize love in action. MLK Day of Service calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service ignites and equips individuals, builds stronger communities, opens barriers/reconstruct bridges, generate possible solutions to social problems, and drives us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
Octavius L. Blount, Coordinator – Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement