“(Obama's) call was to faith-based organizations and corporations, and hopefully this is a rallying point for them. ... I don't think we've had the power of our corporate community, which is so strong. And when I say strong, I mean they can move mountains if they want to. “
“We are not at a point where we can't reverse this here. We're not in New York — we can really move it around. I think we've got to get to a point where we get a grip on it before it gets to a point where hope is lost.”
— Chris Rodgers, Douglas County Board member who attended the president's speech Thursday in Washington D.C.
“A lot of these initiatives are taking place across the country. A lot of the people there (at the announcement) were already engaged, a lot of the foundations there were already engaged. But by the president taking this up as one of the things that he is passionate about, more people will become engaged in it.”
— Symone Sanders, community outreach manager at Empowerment Network
“I applaud the president for making this an emergency. ... One of the things I liked about what he said is we need to find out what's working and support it. From our standpoint, our focus is improving youth and helping youth reach their full potential, and has been for a long time. As black men, we believe what they see is what they'll be, so let's put as many black men as we can in our educational programs, our mentoring programs, or anything else that we think can improve the situation he's addressing.”
— James Mason Jr., executive director of 100 Black Men of Omaha Inc.