Larry Sykes wants to fill Toledo-area religious services with black male faces and spark a movement.

He sent flyers to area churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, and community groups urging male adults to “take a young black male to worship” on the Sunday after Christmas.

The African-American Toledo Board of Education member, who grew up poor and without a father at home, said taking more young men to church is a first step toward returning stability to the Toledo-area black community, which is made up mostly of single-mother households, he said. He said young black men are lost to drugs, crime, violence, and the justice system — in large part because of a lack of formal education. “We need to address our situation and be honest about it,” he said. “I’m hoping to get African-American men to take back our community.”

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