Brothers of the Prince George’s County Omega Psi Phi Gamma Pi chapter promoted Black unity, fatherhood and mentorship, during a Father’s Day discussion on Malcolm X. The event took place at the Cheltenham Youth Facility, a state-funded juvenile detention center. The discussion was part of the organization’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative to rebuild young lives.
“The purpose of the discussion was to take a deeper look at Malcolm’s militant stance against the establishment and to promote Afro American Unity,” said M. Otis Fowler, project organizer and the chapter’s assistant keeper of records and seal.
The fatherhood initiative is an annual Father’s Day project to inspire and mentor the boys to make better choices. Thirty men attended the day of volunteerism. “They need to hear that many of us rose from some of the very same condition,” Fowler said. “They need to be told that they are capable of far more than they currently know. Most importantly, they need to believe that someone cares.”
The facility is one of the largest youth detention centers in the state of Maryland. According to news reports, both prison abolitionist groups and former workers have protested and raised concerns about the detention center’s conditions, including violence, unnecessary imprisonment, and recreational resources.
The facility will be expanding, but the exact date of the expansion remains unclear. The facility holds young men from Prince George’s, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties.