Influence of Terence Crutcher shooting felt at Manhood Summit

Influence of Terence Crutcher shooting felt at Manhood Summit
September 27, 2017 Damario Solomon-Simmons

Black Youths Learn Life lessons at All-Day Manhood Summit

By Bill Sherman Tulsa World

Last month’s fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher by a Tulsa police officer cast a shadow Thursday over the Manhood Summit, an all-day workshop designed to help young black males make a successful transition to adulthood.

“Black young men in America, you’ve got the odds stacked against you,” Tulsa attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons told the more than 100 students, most of them eighth-graders from area schools, gathered at the Cox Business Center.

“We are here for you. We understand what you’re dealing with,” said Solomon-Simmons, who is representing the Crutcher family.

“We’re here today to let you go beyond the odds, the obstacles and the opposition that you will face as a black man in this country. We’re going to stand with you,” he said.

“You have to be two times better. You have to be 15 minutes early. You have to jump higher, run faster. Don’t you ever forget it,” said Solomon-Simmons, who co-founded the sponsoring MVP Foundation with his wife, Mia Fleming.

Fleming said that recent events have been difficult for young blacks.

“The images that they’re seeing, and the videos that are playing over and over again with these shootings, it hits really, really close to home,” she said.

“We just want to make sure that these boys know that no matter what’s going on, ‘we love you, we support you, and we’re here for you. You can still be a success despite all the odds that may come against you.’ ”

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