Recently, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms gathered dozens of experts in the Old Council Chambers at City Hall for a symposium on the current state of Atlanta’s boys and young men. The group was tasked with assessing the needs of this often-marginalized and stigmatized demographic to see what challenges they face – and what can be done to help them navigate through a society that has historically under-valued them.

The consensus from many of the participants was that they all need to work together to make greater strides through collaboration, instead of making small gains individually. Education, mentoring and specialized programs designed to improve their support systems were just a few of the ideas that resonated through the summit, along with a commitment to continue the positive momentum created by the event.