A group of Prince George’s County activists is hoping to start a new chapter of 100 Black Men of America to help improve conditions in their community.
The group, led by Jerry McLaurin, a 30-year resident of the county, will meet with the organization’s leadership on Saturday to outline how the county of 800,000- which is one of the wealthiest majority black counties in the country- can develop its own chapter and agree on the economic and educational issues it should tackle.
There are chapters in the District and Baltimore, but McLaurin said the issues facing Prince George’s warrant another one.
“We have many similar problems to Baltimore and DC,” said McLaurin, 52, a prominent member of People For Change, a political watch dog group. “But Prince George’s is a unique animal...we have the highest foreclosure rate in the state. We need something at ground zero.”
100 Black Men, as it’s commonly referred, has10,000 members and 116 chapters around the world. Although the first chapters were started in 1963, it became a centralized national organization in the mid 1980s. The group’s mission statement says in part that the group exists “to empower our people to become self-sufficient shareholders in the economic and social fabric of the communities we serve.”
Al Dotson, chairman of the national organization, said 25 members are required to start a new chapter.
“We want to make sure that the new chapters are sustainable,” he said.
Saturday’s organizational meeting will be held at 9470 Annapolis Road, Lanham, MD, Suite 115 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more information, contact Jerry McLaurin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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