EAST LANSING, MI –
A coalition of educators, health and social service professionals is trying to identify risk factors that threaten the well-being of minority youth.
Members of the Ingham Change Initiative sponsored a conference at Michigan State University to offer their recommendations for improving the lives of at risk youth. The commission is specifically focusing on public policies that have a negative effect on young men of color. Lansing schools' deputy superintendent Jim Davis co-chairs the group's education workgroup.
"We have to engage them at all levels along the way," he says. "Our children don't come necessarily well-equipped to navigate the path that we want them to follow. They believe in it, but it's often times very challenging for them."
Davis says his group is studying how students stay on-track to graduation, their level of interaction with school personnel and the effect of suspension and expulsion. The commission is also studying health factors such as obesity and asthma.