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Attorney General Bill McCollum Press Release
Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Announces New Chair, Committee Leaders
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that the Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys has chosen its new Chair and set its goals for 2008. Christopher Norwood, last year’s Vice Chair, was nominated by Secretary of Juvenile Justice Frank Peterman and subsequently elected the new Chair for the Council. Dr. Anthony McCoy was elected Vice Chair. In addition to its existing committees, the Council also created a Criminal Justice committee to add to its mission.
“We should strive to provide today’s youth with the resources to make the choices that will send their lives in a positive direction,” said Attorney General McCollum. “I am confident this dedicated group will recommend sound strategies to achieve that goal.”
Norwood is the Director of Lawyers for Children (LFCA), a child advocacy organization protecting the rights of children who are victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment by providing quality pro bono legal representation and collaborating for systematic change to improve the lives of children. He was appointed to the Council by the Speaker of the House in 2007. Vice Chair Dr. Anthony McCoy is the Statewide Forensic Treatment Coordinator for the Department of Children and Families, having studied clinical psychology, psychology-law and statistics at the University of Alabama. He serves the Council on behalf of the Department of Children and Families.
“It is an honor to be chosen as Chair, and I accept this opportunity with a humble spirit,” said Christopher Norwood. “The statistics are disheartening. Florida’s Black men and boys are suffering by any measure, but there are beams of hope throughout our state. We must focus our minds to discover the positive and promote it, while learning from the challenges already before us.”
Mr. Levi Williams, last year’s Council Chairman, will chair the Committee on Criminal Justice, which will focus on addressing criminal justice issues among Black men and boys, including the issue of criminal gangs as well as prevention and intervention programs. Dr. Billy Close will chair the Committee on Improving Educational Outcomes and will study career academics as a secondary reform issue. Mr. Torey Alston will chair the Committee on Improving Economic Outcomes and will work to promote employment for Black males with criminal backgrounds. Ms. Lillian Lima will chair the Committee on Improving Foster Care and Family Issues and will focus on fatherhood initiatives and removing traditional barriers for families. Dr. Eddy Regnier will chair the Committee on Improving Health Status and will address the issue of learned helplessness of young Black men. The Committee on Legislative Review will be chaired by Dr. Emile Commedore.
Created by the Legislature during the 2006 Legislative Session, the Council is charged with making a systematic study of the conditions affecting Black men and boys including homicide rates, arrest and incarceration rate, poverty, violence, drug abuse, death rates, disparate annual income levels, health issues and school performance. The Council’s mission is to constantly strive to alleviate and correct the underlying conditions that affect Black men and boys throughout the State of Florida to bring about an environment that promotes the values of learning, family, prosperity, unity, and self-worth among Black men and boys. Its goal is to be dedicated to being a leading entity that provides and promotes an environment that is conducive to productivity, success, and excellence for all Black men and boys in the State of Florida. More information about the Council is available online at: http://www.cssbmb.com.