Walter Fields

Walter Fields has led and been involved in a number of community initiatives to support Black youth, and has been particularly concerned with the academic achievement of young Black males and strategies focused on violence reduction. He is a firm believer that all change is rooted in local organizing and action. 

These efforts have included creating the Tri-City Anti-Violence Network, a year and a half effort in his hometown of Hackensack New Jersey to reduce tensions between Black males in neighboring communities. In the aftermath of the killing of a 15-year old Black male. Phillip Pannell, by a white Teaneck New Jersey police officer, in 1990 Fields planned the Bergen County Youth Leadership Summit to give youth in the county a voice in their communities. As an outgrowth of the summit, he conceived the Summer Jobs for Summer Youth program that the Bergen County Private Industries Council and the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted as a summer jobs program. He also chaired the youth task force of the Bergen County Human Relations Commission.

As a resident of Maplewood New Jersey he created a Summer Workshop for Black Boys, has launched the Black Parents Workshop to advocate for Black children in the public school district of South Orange-Maplewood and is working with the local middle school to develop a mentor program for Black boys. 

He continues to invest his time and energy into youth development, and is always looking for opportunities to serve young people.