The Minneapolis chapter of MAD DADS adopted a tobacco-free funding policy stating they will refuse all donations and sponsorships from the tobacco industry.
The organization said it recognizes that ethical funding policies, which include tobacco funding, are important for positive change in the community adding that the tobacco industry targets the African-American community with excessive advertising and tobacco promotions.
“The adoption of a tobacco-free policy is a positive step that decreases the influence of the tobacco industry in the community,” stated Danyale Potts, youth coordinator with the Ramsey Tobacco Coalition.
MAD DADS was founded in Omaha Nebraska in 1989 and branched out across the Midwest. The Minneapolis chapter was created in 1998. Its mission is to bring positive change to a community where there are drugs, violence and a lack of influential male role models. MAD DADS goal is to promote a positive outlet for at-risk youth in the African-American community.
“African-Americans often use tobacco because it is the social norm in the community,” said VJ Smith, National President of MAD DADS. “It is not viewed as a deadly drug such as cocaine, heroin or alcohol. It is important to realize that this is a harmful drug and the leading cause of preventable death. It’s one thing we can do something about.”