Youth Services Liaison and City Lead for Cities United and My Brother’s Keeper Antonio Smith has recently been recognized as one of the top “100+ Black Men in Minneapolis,” by the Black Bloggers and Creators and the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce.
This list consists of Black Men that are creatives, entrepreneurs, professionals, leaders, and more. They each “increase visibility” for the Black community in and around Minneapolis.
We sat down with Antonio Smith for a quick Q&A about this honor and here is what he had to say:
Q: How does it make you feel to be recognized by the Chamber?
A: My goal has been for the young people in the community to feel comfortable knowing what they want, saying what they want and be able to express it to the community with confidence. My objective is to help them feel like they are a part of the community. I want these young people to feel proud of who they are and what they are doing. So, for me it is an honor to be recognized. I have a great sense of gratitude towards the MN Black Chamber of Commerce and hope this recognition will lead to more change for the benefit of young people.
Q.What projects have you been a part of the make you most proud?
A. The Cities United cohort project is a group mentoring project that helps young boys and men of color and police communicate and understand one another in the effort to build trust. This is a major accomplishment involving numerous young people over the past two years. I have great pride in helping young people understand their value and how their decisions impact their success. I am also proud of the National Cities United Founders award for innovation, engagement, and leadership. This is a steering committee that created the Brooklyn Park comprehensive public safety plan. And finally, I created the sound off station which is full of young people that network with professionals that relate to their interest, harvest ideas to stop community violence, and also produced the cities united annual black history month event. This event has benefited young people by gaining professional development skills from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) over the past five years.
Q: As a mentor, what advice would you give to young Black men today?
A: Know yourself, know your history, and stay true to your values.
Thanks, Antonio, for you hard work and dedication to youth in Brooklyn Park! You are appreciated.