Fort Wayne UNITED Takes First Steps Toward Long-Term Goals

Mar 1, 2017

Credit Zach Bernard/WBOI News

The City of Fort Wayne announced the creation of seven subcommittees within the recently-launched Fort Wayne UNITED program Tuesday afternoon.

The subcommittees, composed of nearly 20 Fort Wayne community members and leaders, will begin in-depth strategic planning to determine Fort Wayne UNITED’s long-term direction.

The subcommittees will focus on education, employment, justice, healthy, clergy, emerging leaders, and program implementation. Members will be tasked with developing measurable goals and next steps to combat challenges black men and boys face in Fort Wayne.

City officials and subcommittee members were joined by national leaders from the National League of Cities and Cities United on Tuesday. These organizations will work closely with subcommittees to assist in the planning process.

National League of Cities director Timothy Evans commended the city for its work toward racial unity in the last five years, and says the program is a base for the city to move forward.

“This is a partnered effort, a team effort,” said Evans. “And what we’ve seen across the country is when cities as a whole take on this, not as a subset of a community, then you can really see improvements in outcomes, change for black men and boys and everyone in the community.”

UNITED director Iric Headley says it’s important for the program to move on from the “program” phase and establish long-term plans in conjunction with the city.

“Until we really see that black men and boys don’t need any more help, we’re going to be staying at this work,” said Headley.

The subcommittees will work toward a long-term strategic plan for the program, which Headley says will create benchmarks and goals for the organization’s future hopes to have completed by June.