2020 has been an unprecedented year in so many ways, most notably with how the COVID-19 pandemic shut down so many aspects of society beginning in March.
Yet the past few months also have brought voices to the streets, as protests have filled American cities decrying systemic racism and police brutality prompted in large part by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisc.
Some local leaders in the Black community are providing an outlet for an expansive conversation on life for Black males in Colorado. On Saturday, and in conjunction with a number of community organizations, Joint Effort Community Sports and the Colorado Black Round Table are hosting a Black Male Summit for adults and youngsters alike.
Titled “A Sense of Where We Are,” the round table will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. via a Zoom video conference.
“It’s the time period. The streets that are talking to us. It’s the time to do more and be more,” said Colorado Black Round Table executive director John Bailey. “Part of what the roundtable and all these organizations decided was that it was time to do something important relative to Black men. We have some Black men in some very influential positions that we asked to step up, and they did.
“Somebody, everybody, anybody — all of us have to do something, and we have to do it in such a way that is has meaning. We all have to act in decent actions, but that action can’t be random. It has to be about positive change.”
The guest list is filled with Colorado luminaries, including several prominent CU Buffs. Karl Dorrell, who was hired as the Buffs’ head football coach just weeks before the coronavirus pandemic shut down society, is scheduled to be officially welcomed by the Colorado Black community while also serving as a guest speaker.
Other guest speakers are set to include CU basketball legend Chauncey Billups and his younger brother Rodney Billups, a former Buffs assistant and currently the head coach at the University of Denver; longtime Denver East basketball coach Rudy Carey; Denver Broncos director of player development Ray Jackson; Denver mayor Michael Hancock, and many other Black business and community leaders.
The summit will be divided into 30-minute presentations focused on a number of topics, including education, business, public safety, Black history, and a segment titled “Saving our Sons.”
“We’ll have some folks that deal with education. Some others will deal with business. We’ll have some Black psychologists, some folks who are doing youth work,” Bailey said. “You can’t be what you can’t see. So by putting all these Black men in front of Black men and boys, it’s a cue and an indicator that you can be anything that you want to be.”
The summit is open to the public and available here. Attendees also can listen via their phones by calling 1-312-626-6799 or 1-646-558-8656. Callers must enter the meeting ID (836-2082-6339) and passcode (299321). For more information, contact Bailey at email@example.com.