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Urban Congress Roundtable Talks Build Sustainable Solutions for Baton Rouge

Urban Congress Roundtable Talks Build Sustainable Solutions for Baton Rouge
MetroMorphosis has been a driving force behind initiatives in the Baton Rouge, quietly raising the bar of expectations of what is defined as the urban community. One of their key strategies is the Urban Congress on African-American Males, convenes community members for a monthly work group meeting.  From the outside, these meetings may look like a group of people simply talking about concerns that exist, but at those very tables, ideas like Mentoring BR and Launch BR are birth and catalyzed into action.
MetroMorphosis mission states that the organization strives to develop and mobilize a critical mass of engaged citizens in inner city neighborhoods to design and implement sustainable solutions to persistent community changes. With initiatives like Launch BR stemming from the monthly work groups, attendees get to see their ideas implemented into actions that impact their own community.
” Launch BR and Mentoring BR are important initiatives that we feel will have an significant impact on our community,” says Raymond A. Jetson, the founder and Chief Catalyst of MetroMorphosis. ” They are deeply rooted in the work of Urban Congress. Entrepreneurial African-American males will be exposed to trainings that will make them viable candidates for large scale contracts in the future.”
Launch BR, a small business incubator, will target men in the landscaping business looking to level up and dive into large scale contracts. It was created to contribute to economic development by bringing in new green technology to people who already do landscaping and lawn care, or who are interested in the field in Baton Rouge.
“LaunchBR will concentrate on lawn care and landscaping first because green infrastructure, stormwater management and other things we will train are high economic drivers for the landscaping field,” says Tyra Banks, Program Manager of LaunchBR. 
Another initiative, Mentoring BR, stemmed from Goal Group 1 within the Urban Congress. In January, over 700 people gathered to receive training on how to use their life lessons to enhance the mentoring that they already do. That training brought together organizations such as Big Buddy, 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, The Gardere Initiative, Father’s On A Mission and more to collaborate in actively recruiting Baton Rouge residents to support them in mentoring youth.
“Anybody can be a mentor; if you have a desire to mentor someone in elementary school on how to tie a tie or a high school student graduating and entering into college. We want mentors from any backgrounds or range to mentor in a diverse setting of kids on various topics,” says Brianne Painia, Innovation and Partnership Catalyst at MetroMorphosis. ” 
Both initiatives are still actively recruiting. To get more information or to sign up for Launch BR, visit www.launchbr.com. To volunteer as a mentor, visit www.MentoringBR.org.
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