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Portraits in Color: Michael Smith

Listen to this podcast interview with Michael Smith, ED of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

“One of the  major catalysts behind the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA), an initiative of the Obama Foundation, is Michael Smith who serves as the Executive Director. In this episode, Michael shares his deeply personal experiences with racism as a youth in western Massachusetts and how some of these formative experiences fuel his social impact work. Michael also brings to light issues that disproportionately impact boys and young men of color and how MBKA is responding.”

Echoing Green BMA Convening

“More than 60 Echoing Green Fellows from around the U.S. gathered in Baltimore Oct. 6–8 for the inaugural Echoing Green Black Male Achievement (BMA) Convening to celebrate impact and drive progress toward advancing the life outcomes of black men and boys in the United States. These social entrepreneurs joined conversations with more than 100 partners and guests including representatives from the Citi Foundation, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), the Obama Foundation, and Kenan Charitable Trust. The BMA Convening was presented by Echoing Green with support from the Citi Foundation as part of the Inclusive Leadership Initiative, which works to expand support of leaders who represent communities of color, with particular emphasis on those who are creating employment opportunities for young people of color across the U.S.”

Read the full blog post here.

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Rising Voices Library

“Scholastic announced the Rising Voices Library, a new collection of books for K–5 classrooms containing high-interest, authentic texts that celebrate the stories of Black and Latino boys—some of the historically most underrepresented people in children’s literature. The collection was curated with David C. Banks, President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation and Founding Principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, an all-boys public school educating young men in grades 6–12 in New York City and Newark, New Jersey. The Rising Voices Library features nonfiction, biographical, and fiction titles paired with teaching materials designed to help foster rich classroom communities through deep discussions about social justice and identity development, helping students grow as leaders and independent thinkers. “

Follow the links to read more about this announcement and the library.

Black Male Achievement Program Lowers Student Dropout Rates

The “Manhood Development”, was launched roughly 10 years ago by school leaders in Oakland, California. The program targets black male high school students and is taught by black male instructors and “emphasizes social-emotional learning, African and African American history and academic mentoring, drawing on culturally relevant teaching methods to counter stereotypes and create a stronger sense of community and belonging in school.”

“A new study led by Thomas S. Dee, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE), provides the first evidence that access to the program significantly reduced the number of black males who dropped out of high school. The study found smaller reductions in the number of black females who dropped out as well, suggesting a possible spillover effect.”

Read the full story here.

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Oprah Donates $13M to Morehouse

“Oprah Winfrey now has the largest endowment ever at Morehouse College in Atlanta after donating $13 million, according to a news release from the school. Winfrey visited the all men’s historically black college Monday for the 30th anniversary of the Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program, the release said. The program started in 1989 and the fund stands at $12 million. Monday’s donation of $13 million pushed her total investment to $25 million.”

Read the full CNN story here.

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Black men still more likely to die by police violence

A PBS News Hour article highlights the continuing disparity between the prevalence black victims of police violence and their non-black counterparts. Below are some highlights from the article.

  • “According to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, over the course of a lifetime, black men face a one in 1,000 risk of being killed during an encounter with police, a rate much higher than that of white men.”
  • “In 2016, the Pew Research Center surveyed the public’s opinions about police performance and found wide gaps in perception between black and white respondents, said Rich Morin, a pollster and senior editor for Pew. In the survey, only 33 percent of African Americans said police do a good or excellent job of using the right amount of force in each encounter compared to the 75 percent of white Americans who believed in the judgement of police.”

Read the full story here.

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400 Years of Black Giving

Tyrone Freeman, Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies, Director of Undergraduate Programs, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University, describes the rich, underappreciated history of African American philanthropy that began soon after the first enslaved Africans disembarked in Virginia in 1619. Robert F. Smith’s payment of student loan debt for the graduates of Morehouse College is an extension of that heritage.

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Black Philanthropy Month 2019

August marks Black Philanthropy Month, which was created in 2011 by Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland and the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network to celebrate our tradition of lending our time, talent, and treasure to effect change in communities of color.

This month will culminate with the second annual Giving Black Day, a day to promote financial support for Black-led and Black-benefiting grassroots organizations. This year Giving Black Day will be Wednesday, August 28th 2019, a date chosen because of its historical significance in the Black community.

Below are some events that took place on this day:

  • August 28, 1955. 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered by three white men, which, became a “flashpoint in the civil rights movement.”
  • August 28, 1963. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.
  • August 28, 2005. Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. The storm, which devastated New Orleans, inordinately impacted many of the city’s black residents.
  • August 28, 2008. Then-Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president, becoming the first black man to ever win the nomination and bid for the presidency.
  • August 28, 2018. The Young, Black & Giving Back Institute hosts an entire day dedicated to black giving!

Follow @YBGB_Institute on Twitter and learn more at the Giving Black Day website.

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Racial Equity Work is People Work

Borealis Philanthropy and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) announced Marcus Walton, Co-Director of Racial Equity Initiatives (REI), will be transitioning to a new role as the President and CEO of GEO.

Read Borealis Philanthropy’s parting interview with Marcus. In this interview Marcus shares “what he feels proud of during his time at Borealis, what he’s looking forward to seeing next from our racial equity initiatives, and what learnings he will bring to GEO.”

Interview with Geoffrey Canada

Online Town Hall With Geoffrey Canada

July 25, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Event sponsored by the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement

“Following the format of previous MBK Alliance town halls, Geoffrey will be interviewed by two dynamic young men of color; Senegal Mabry, Member, MBK Alliance Advisory Council and David Armah, President, Saunders Trades and Technical High School, MBK Yonkers. The MBK Alliance Team will also join to give a brief update on upcoming opportunities.”

To register for the town hall and to submit a question for Geoffrey Canada to answer, click here.

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