The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) will host Black Men and Boys Day on Capitol Hill April 22-23. The program is a component of the new Gathering of Black Men Initiative of the NCBCP’s Black Youth Vote! Civic Leadership and Engagement Program.

“In light of all that’s happening in our community around Black lives there was a need for Black men to see how their voices could be heard as lawmakers and policymakers debate on those issues,” said convener Rev. Tony Lee, founder and senior pastor of Community Of Hope AME Church, in Washington, D.C. “A lot of people are talking about Black men but not talking to Black men.”

On the first day of the event, Congressman Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., and others will train the participants on the how-tos of advocacy, including what to expect and what to do when meeting policymakers. Advocacy experts will also provide information on and review specific issues, including: criminal justice reform, education, workforce development and jobs, voting and health.

The next day, the participants will get to apply all they have learned when they trod to the Hill to meet with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Lee told the AFRO, they are expecting at least 200 men and boys from all across the country, and, they are looking to shine a light on the legislative process to make it more accessible to regular men.

“We don’t want to see the usual politicos,” he said. “We want regular, everyday brothers to see the importance of their voice in policy they do have power and influence in those areas that impact them.”