California lawmakers are seeking suggestions on ways to improve the lives of male minorities in the state. The Committee On The Status Of Boys And Men Of Color held an informational hearing Tuesday on safety and justice.
Democratic Assemblyman Tony Thurmond says he wants action to come from the discussion.
"We already know all the places where young people of color struggle. And we’ve been talking about it for a long time," he says. "So now is our time to be about it."
Marc Philpart is with the advocacy group PolicyLink. He says communities are fractured. Philpart says leaders need to help people feel connected to their communities so they’ll be involved in improving them.
"At any given moment you’re presenting or carrying a whole host of perspectives and personas," he says. "I’m a black man. I’m also an American. I’m also a Christian, and whole bunch of other things, right? So this idea of intersectionality is one that, I think very poignantly, helps us to see ourselves in others."
Speakers at the hearing suggested more money for early childhood education, and more comprehensive services for young parents and children. Law enforcement agencies also suggested programs that would provide alternatives to detention for juveniles.