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Area businessman Vernon Herron called on his audience to encourage young black children to pursue an education as he spoke Wednesday night about the plight of black males in America. Herron, director of a King of Prussia consulting firm, was the event's keynote speaker for a symposium entitled, "The Black Male in Crisis: Solutions for Survival." He was joined by Wharton senior Charles Adams in addressing a group of approximately 30 students about what some deemed "the hottest issue of the '90s." "We have reached a crisis of epidemic proportions with regard to the future of the black male," Herron said. Herron described the crisis of black males as being the result of involvement with the criminal justice system, poor health, inferior education, low economic and job status, and deterioration of religion and the family. He said that that black males have been "left out of the mainstream of American life either by design or by choice." Herron illustrated his points with several disturbing statistics about black males and suggested ways to solve the crisis. "We must provide young black men especially with the care they need to increase their expectations and aspirations," Herron said. The event was the first in a series of ten discussions to be organized by Alpha Phi Alpha this year. Other forums in the series titled "Survival Agenda for African Americans" will focus on women, children, family and relations between the sexes. Alphas President Geoffrey Cousins said Wednesday that his fraternity is sponsoring the series of programs to help black men and women survive the difficulties in American society. "We're appealing to the entire University community, West Philadelphia and the whole city to help us in our program," Cousins said. "Changes can come about much quicker if everyone helps us out." Wharton senior Charles Adams also spoke at the event, highlighting points from his column "Reality, My Brother" that was published in The Vision this month. "No matter what kind of success we have all made . . . we all experience the offenses against black males" Adams said. "Once we realize our common situation, we'll be able to surpass any boundaries." College senior Therisa Rogers, one of the many women who attended the event, said she thought the Alphas presented a very important forum and praised the group for bringing speakers to campus. "It's a presentation whose time has definitely come, has come before, and will come again," Rogers said.

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