A group of Christian men in Iowa’s capitol city is launching an effort to address the "social crisis" facing young black men. Just over eight percent of the population in Des Moines is black and Alex Dunlap, one of the organizers of the group, says their goal is to help black men and boys be better citizens.
"A group of men were at a group men’s ministry earlier in the year…and as usually goes, we talked about doing something," Dunlap says. Now, those 75 men have formed "Men of Faith." Dunlap says their Christian values call them to serve.
"Everyone is of one accord…hopefully we can use that as a base to grow," Dunlap says. According to Dunlap, the group hopes to tackle problems like the poor performance of some young black men in school and how some blacks seem to be stuck in the criminal justice system. Other group members want to focus on getting more black men and boys into church.
On Saturday, May 19th, the "Men of Faith" is hosting an event in a Des Moines park. There’ll be food, children’s activities, a basketball competition, and a prayer service. "This event is just to kind of get us together, let them know we’re out here and they’ll be seeing us in the future," Durham says. The event will be held in Evelyn Davis Park at 16th and Forest in Des Moines. It starts at nine o’clock next Saturday morning and concludes at four that afternoon.