SAN ANTONIO - It's the goal of My Brother's Keeper San Antonio to keep young men and boys safe and on a path to success. But while they plan for the future, Ramon Vasquez, chairman of MBKSA, said they have in mind the shootings and violence making headlines across the country.
"We're not talking about 'it's their problem,'" Vasquez said. "The East Side, the West Side, we're talking about my grandchildren. We're talking about me, men and boys of color, about my sons."
MBKSA is an initiative to help improve the lives of young men and boys of color, and Vasquez said after hearing from representatives from PolicyLink and Fathers & Families of San Joaquin at a luncheon on Wednesday, they need to revisit what they're doing.
"We've been in this process for a year and a half, so we have a lot of work ahead of us," Vasquez said. "San Antonio is not exempt from any of the other things that are happening across this country in terms of men and boys of color."
Vasquez said there needs to be conversations about race relations, but also about MBKSA's plan to shape the future of San Antonio.
The goals of MBKSA include having more high school graduates, as well as making sure they finish post-secondary education or job training to find them more jobs and also to keep them safe from violent crime. And if a young man does find himself in trouble, they help that person start over again.
Mayor Ivy Taylor, who also hosted the luncheon, said Wednesday was a good opportunity for exchanging ideas to help them achieve these goals.
"We also have goals related to reducing violence, providing second chances for those who may have already gotten off track," said Taylor. "So we have a whole lot of committed volunteers, who are working to spread the word."