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Community leaders look to helping black and Latino young men succeed

They gathered Friday to talk solutions, not problems, and mark a turning point for a group pledged to help black and Latino young men in Boston succeed.

“It is so important to empower our young brothers,” said Conan Harris, director of the city’s My Brother’s Keeper program, which held an all-day event Friday highlighting the group’s achievements since it was formed in 2014.

Boston’s chapter of My Brother’s Keeper, modeled after an initiative from former president Barack Obama, works to resolve persistent opportunity gaps and challenges facing black and Latino young men, officials said.

“This is a pretty emotional day for me,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh, recognizing people who have been involved in the program from the start.


Friday’s event featured workshops, panel discussions, and awards to people -- community leaders Mel King, Greg Hill, and Felix D. Arroyo -- essential to the success of the initiative.

Organizers also held a “solution session” at the Bruce Bolling Municipal Building, during which the group introduced its new advisory board.

“I want these young brothers to know that we do this work for you,’’ Harris said.

The focus on Friday included an invitation to the public to help recruit mentors and support efforts to boost young men of color.

Meghan Irons can be reached at Meghan.Irons@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MeghanIrons.