Archive for the ‘Spotlight’ Category

Quantifying Hope Panel Discussion in SF

Foundation Center–San Francisco
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

A recording of this event is now available! Check it out.

From Ferguson, Missouri to Staten Island, New York, from Baltimore, Maryland to Charleston, South Carolina, the highly publicized killings of Black men and boys have brought new attention to issues of race and racism in the United States. These events have helped fuel the growing #BlackLivesMatter movement, highlighting the urgency of supporting Black communities broadly, while also lifting up the issues faced by Black men and boys in particular.

In this historic moment, it is more critical than ever to understand what philanthropy is doing (and can do) to support Black men and boys. This event will feature highlights from a new report published by Foundation Center and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. The report examines the philanthropic funding landscape for Black men and boys, including trends, activities that are being supported, and active foundations in the field.

A panel discussion among Bay Area foundation leaders will follow, lifting up local efforts to support Black men and boys, lessons learned, and future directions for this work.


  • Fred Blackwell, CEO, San Francisco Foundation
  • Cedric Brown, Chief of Community Engagement, Kapor Center for Social Impact
  • Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement
  • James W. Head, President and CEO, East Bay Community Foundation
  • Seema Shah, Director of Research for Special Projects, Foundation Center

Foundation Center San Francisco
312 Sutter Street, #606
San Francisco, CA 94108

Space is limited. Register online.

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Louisville Stands Up for Black Male Achievement

Louisville Stands Up for Black Male Achievement
By Anthony Smith, Director for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, City of Louisville, KY

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” — Muhammad Ali

Louisville is proud to have been the host city for Open Society Foundations’ Rumble Young Man, Rumble convening for the past four years. Shawn Dove, CEO for Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) selected Louisville because we are the hometown of the greatest of all time — Muhammad Ali and the Muhammad Ali Center. Ali’s six core principles and the mission and vision of the Ali Center aligned perfectly with the goals for the Rumble Young Man, Rumble gatherings. In the spirit of Ali, Louisville is uniquely positioned to courageously accept Shawn Dove’s challenge to become the epicenter for Black Male Achievement.

The RYMR convening has served as the building block for Louisville’s Black Male Achievement movement. Since March 2013, local leaders have been have engaged in at times difficult conversations about what it means to be a Black male in our city and what changes need to be made to ensure every young Black man and boy has the support and tools needed to achieve their goals. The conversation started when we decided to respond to the National League of Cities’ request for proposals for “City Leadership to Promote Black Male Achievement.” Our Mayor, Greg Fischer, was invited to join Cities United, a national partnership to eliminate violent-related deaths of African-American males. Mayor Fischer was also an early acceptor of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and has hosted community meetings to talk about the importance of this initiative.

We have been able to use our involvement in these national initiatives and the backdrop of the RYMR to create the Louisville Cities United Collaboration (LCUC) — a collaborative of over 60 community and faith-based organizations working to reduce violent-related deaths of African-American males, increase educational and employment outcome for young Black men and boys, and change the narrative — we want folks to know their whole story. The Louisville Urban League, Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, and the Mayor’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods provide leadership for the LCUC.

Out of this collaborative, we have created a place based strategy called “Zones of Hope”. Zones of Hope are designed to restore a sense of place and connection for some of Louisville’s most “disconnected” neighborhoods, families, and young Black men and boys. Zones of Hope are built on four core objectives:

HEART: Family & Community Wellness (Healthy in all aspects, participation on every level)

  • Increase involvement of young Black males within the family unit and the community on all levels
  • Improve economic, mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, social health on family & community level
  • Cultivate the concepts of compassion, common humanity, and life affirming associations, and the belief in positive outcomes
  • Engage with neighborhood churches/houses of worship to offer services to single mothers who are raising young males who need mentors/role models

HEAD: Academic Readiness & Achievement (K-12, post-secondary and beyond)

  • Increase Black male involvement in the educational process as parents, educators and mentors
  • Increase school readiness and academic excellence among Black males
  • Increase number of Black males pursuing and acquiring post-secondary training and education
  • Decrease the number of Black males experiencing disciplinary school exclusion through suspension
  • Establish learning centers in 10 neighborhood churches/houses of worship

HANDS: Career Readiness as a Life Investment (Developing expertise that has market value)

  • Increase employment rate among Black males
  • Provide opportunities to expose young Black males to various workforce environments
  • Create more “second chance” employment initiatives for those with felony backgrounds
  • Create culture of recognizing and appreciating one’s own skills, creativity and talents and the value those talents
  • Perfecting skills and talents

HOPE: Restorative Justice (Mending community harm, reinstating pathways to balance and prosperity)

  • Promote responsibility but adopt more non-punitive methods, focusing on prevention and restorative justice
  • Coordinate and align “re-entry” with diversity in rehabilitation (jobs, avenues for artistic expression, etc.)
  • Create programming to reduce recidivism (money management, conflict resolution, mentoring, etc.)
  • Enhance job readiness via volunteer training opportunities, corporate partnerships, etc.
  • Work with neighborhood churches/houses of worship to pursue alternative sentencing programs and services for young juveniles

Additional highlights from 2014 include:

  • Launched Zones of Hope in September. During our Weekend of Hope, supported by Casey Family Programs, over 300 people learned about our new program. Since the launch, we have hosted monthly meetings in each Zone.
  • Received a $226,400 grant from the James Graham Brown Foundation to build out our Zones of Hope
  • Co-hosted Rumble Young Man Rumble IV. This was Open Society’s 4th year hosting this in Louisville at the Ali Center.
  • Hosted a Zones of Hope Holiday Feast at Baxter Community Center, where about 200 people came out. This will be an annual event.
  • Jefferson County Public Schools through their Office Diversity, Equity, and Poverty Programs has:
    • Signed the Boys of Color Resolution
    • Expanded the “Street Academy” from one to four schools, increasing boys served from 25 to 100
    • Hosted ACT Boot Camps, College Application, and Financial Aid/FAFSA workshops
    • Hosted two “Take What You Can Tote” events in partnership with the 15th District PTA and the Mayor’s Office, targeting Zones of Hope neighborhoods. Over 850 families were served.
    • In partnership with KentuckianaWorks, created “Coding @ the Beech”, a 15-week coding class for high school boys of color from the Russell and other Zones of Hope neighborhoods

We have seen progress as we work to create better outcomes for our young Black men and boys, but we know there is much more work to be done. In 2015 we must create more opportunities for them to engaged and informed, and we must find more resources to continue to build out our efforts.

When we say Louisville will be the epicenter for Black Male Achievement, it does not mean that we believe we have it all together. It means that we are willing to share what we know in a safe space that will create opportunities to improve our efforts in ways that create better opportunities and outcomes for our young Black men and boys.

Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement: Strategies for Success

EPIP Webinar
Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement: Strategies for Success

The recording of this webinar is now available on the EPIP website!

Wednesday, February 4 at 3pm EST

Free for EPIP Members
$10 for Nonmembers
See below for registration instructions

Webinar Description:
In the wake of Ferguson, Eric Garner, and the burgeoning #blacklivesmatter movement, the campaign to improve black male achievement has become more urgent than ever. In this webinar, we’ll be joined by policy and communications experts who’ve been building and sustaining the movement for years. Through the lens of the Foundation Center’s landmark report Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement we’ll explore the capacity-building and systems-change strategies from the bird’s eye to the grassroots to learn what’s working. Don’t miss it!


  • Seema Shah, Director of Research for Special Projects, Foundation Center
  • Marc Philpart, Director, Boys and Men of Color Initiatives, PolicyLink
  • Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant, Senior Fellow, CLASP
  • Rashid Shabazz, Vice President of Communications, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Registration Instructions:

If you are an EPIP member, enter the members-only promotional code on Eventbrite to obtain your free ticket. If you do not know the promotional code, login to Member Connect and navigate to “Member Benefits” for the promotional code.

NEW! Upon confirmation of your Eventbrite order, you will receive a link where you will need to register yourself for the webinar. You MUST register at GoToWebinar in order to obtain access to the webinar.


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Building a Beloved Community: DC Event

Videos from this event are now available! Please see links below. Thank you, DC Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation!

Learn about the important work taking place in DC and nationally to improve life outcomes for black men and boys.

Date & Time:
Monday, September 22, 2014
Registration, networking, and breakfast 9:30-10:00 am
Program 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Based on the Foundation Center’s report on the field of black male achievement, this event features perspectives from funders, practitioners, policymakers, and young people about the important work taking place in DC and nationally to improve life outcomes for black men and boys.

While there is a groundswell of momentum, particularly in light of the White House Initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, there is much work to be done to build upon and sustain this momentum. This event will provide a venue to advance the conversation around black male achievement and explore what’s needed to move the field forward in this critical moment.

Welcome: Ed Davies, Executive Director, DC Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation (CYITC)

Opening Remarks: Shawn Dove, Campaign Manager, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Open Society Foundations

See video of Welcome and Opening Remarks.

Panel #1 focuses on the soul of black male achievement work and give national and local context for what’s currently happening and what’s to come in the next two to five years.


  • Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President for Policy & Senior Advisor, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • George Garrow, Executive Director, Concerned Black Men, Inc.
  • Seema Shah, Director of Research for Special Projects, Foundation Center
  • James H. Shelton III, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
  • E. Bomani Johnson, Sr. Director of Programs & Partnerships, CYITC (Moderator)

See video of Panel #1.

Panel #2 comprises of young black men who will share their experiences and give us our “marching orders” as we move forward with the local BMA strategy development, implementation, and evaluation.


  • Nathaniel Cole, Executive Director, Urban Alliance, Washington, DC
  • Chris Reed, Program Manager, Nationals Youth Baseball Academy
  • A representative from Life Pieces to MasterPieces
  • A representative from Concerned Black Men
  • Dr. Robert Simmons, Chief of Innovation & Research, DC Public Schools (DCPS) (Moderator)

Closing Remarks: Kaya Henderson, Chancellor, DCPS

See video of Panel #2 and Closing Remarks.

Audience: This program is geared toward grantmakers, practitioners, government and corporate supporters, and private residents.

Please note: This program will occur at the True Reformer Building, Lankford Auditorium, 1200 U Street, NW, located on the southwest corner of 12th and U Streets. There is no designated parking associated with the True Reformer Building, however a parking garage is located at 1425 U Street, NW.

The building is easily accessible by Metro. It is located near the U Street/African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metro Station, on the Green and Yellow lines. Use the 13th Street exit and walk a half block east from the escalator to the entrance of 1200 U Street, NW.

True Reformer Building, Lankford Auditorium
1200 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Open Letter

Members and allies of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color released an open letter for peace and protest in Ferguson.

The letter “implore[s] law enforcement, legislative, judiciary and other officials at the local, state and federal levels to take direct measures that will allow demonstrations to occur in the safest manner possible.”

Signed by more than 30 foundation and nonprofit executives, the letter recommends as the first priority the preservation of human life.

Read the full statement here.

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Geoffrey Canada’s Afterword

“The barriers to success that black men face have been in plain sight for decades, so it is particularly heartening to see a movement taking shape that is specifically crafted to address these challenges and change the odds for one of the most disenfranchised populations in America.”

Thus writes Geoffrey Canada, president of Harlem Children’s Zone, in the afterword of the report Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement.

Read the full afterword and learn how the field of black male achievement can learn from the successes of the Harlem Children’s Zone.

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New Case Study: Exodus highlights innovative efforts across the country to change systems, improve life outcomes, and decrease disparities for black males.

Our latest case study is Exodus, a faith-based operating foundation in North Carolina with the mission of stopping the flow of African Americans to prison. In addition to its mentoring program, the Foundation aims to change the policies and structures that have led to the inordinate number of African Americans, other minorities, and the poor in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Read more about Exodus Foundation’s work: its successes, challenges, and lessons learned.

New Report: Building a Beloved Community

We’re excited to release a new report entitled Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement.

Based on interviews with 50 leaders across sectors, the report maps the landscape of work in black male achievement and offers recommendations for what it will take to strengthen the field moving forward.

The report is complemented by additional content, including podcasts from interviews and resources referenced throughout the report.

My Brother’s Keeper Listening Sessions

The My Brother’s Keeper Initiative is part of the President’s Year of Action, and a vital piece of the Administration’s overall goal to build ladders of opportunity for all Americans. The initiative consists of two separate components, both focused on improving access to opportunities for boys and young men of color, and empowering them to reach their full potential.

Through the coordination of a Federal Taskforce, foundations, and external partners, a series of webinars and in-person convenings to discuss interventions and long-term strategies for improving outcomes for boys and young men of color are happening over the next 30 days. These are public events in which participation from the philanthropic and non-profit sector is highly encouraged; your presence and contribution to the conversation will undoubtedly drive this work forward.

Policy Listening Sessions (webinar)

Thursday, April 24, 2014
1:30-2:30pm EDT Mentoring & Support Networks

This discussion will be led by Michael Smith, Director, Social Innovation Fund at the Corporation for National and Community Service, with opening remarks by Broderick Johnson, Assistant to the President, White House Cabinet Secretary, and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.

3:30-4:30pm EDT Ladders to Jobs/Higher Education

This discussion will be led by Mark Mitsui, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, with opening remarks by Jim Shelton, Deputy Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education and Executive Director of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.

Friday, April 25, 2014
1:00-2:00pm EDT Early Literacy

This discussion will be led by Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the United States Department of Education, with opening remarks by Roberto Rodriquez, Special Assistant to the President for Education, White House Domestic Policy Council.

3:00-4:00pm EDT Ladders to Jobs/Jobs for Opportunity Youth

This discussion will be led by Demetra Nightingale, Chief Evaluation Officer at the U.S. Department of Labor, with opening remarks by Roy Austin, Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity, White House Domestic Policy Council.

Space is limited and RSVPs will be considered on a first come, first serve basis.

Notice: Please note that any information you provide during registration may be shared within the Federal Government and as required by law. In addition, we may seek to share this information outside the Federal Government with private and non-profit organizations and individuals that are working on this issue, for the purpose of connecting you with those organizations and individuals. If you do not want us to share your information outside of the Federal Government for this purpose, please notify us when you register.

Regional Listening Sessions (time & location TBD)

April 30, 2014: Baltimore, MD
May 5, 2014: Detroit, MI
May 7, 2014: Houston, TX
May 8, 2014: Albuquerque, NM
May 12, 2014: Los Angeles, CA

Each forum will address five focus areas:

  • Early Childhood (age 0-5): Minority youth who lack adequate access to health and nutritional guidance, as well as parental support, face higher dropout rates, more negative interactions with the criminal justice system, and increased chances that they will experience poverty as adults.
  • Early Literacy (age 5-9): Minority youth who cannot read on grade level by third grade are four times less likely than their peers to graduate by age 19, and those youth who are poor are 13 times less likely than their peers to graduate high school by age 19.
  • On Track to College and Career; School Discipline Reform (age 10-19): Black students are more than three times as likely to be suspended as white students and Latino students are nearly twice as likely. This matters because ninth graders with a single suspension are twice as likely to drop out.
  • Criminal Justice System and Violent Crime Interaction (age 13-19): Minority youth have disproportionately more contacts with police than whites. Efforts to change that relationship have proven to reduce citizen fear, improve interactions and cooperation with police, and decrease incidents of profiling. This area of focus will also support strategies to break persistent cycles of deadly violence amongst boys and young men.
  • Ladders to Jobs and Support Networks (age 16-25): The initiative will highlight strategies to bolster college access and success, while improving employment opportunities for young men. This will include enhancing access to certain social services, professional training, education, and mentoring relationships.
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Obama Launches “My Brother’s Keeper”

On February 27, 2014, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, a White House initiative focused on young men of color. This public-private partnership takes a “collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color.” Watch the My Brother’s Keeper announcement or read the transcript.

Below are news articles and responses from foundations following the announcement.

News and Opinions

The White House Blog, July 21, 2014
President Obama at My Brother’s Keeper Town Hall: “America Will Succeed If We Are Investing in Our Young People”

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, July 8, 2014
Obama’s Plan to Aid Black Men and Boys Will Be a Boon to Other Groups, Too

The Washington Post, June 18, 2014
1,000 Women of Color Want Women and Girls Included in ‘My Brother’s Keeper’

Huffington Post, June 3, 2014
Remove Systemic Barriers So Boys and Young Men of Color Can Succeed

Leading Educational Research Centers Respond to White House Report on Boys and Young Men of Color, June 3, 2014

The Hill, June 2, 2014
Minority Serving Institutions: The Keeper in My Brother’s Keeper

The Washington Post, May 31, 2014
Prominent Black Men Ask Obama: What About Black Women and Girls?

The Washington Post, May 30, 2014
Magic Johnson to Help Lead Effort for Black and Hispanic Young Men

Huffington Post, May 30, 2014
White House Provides Leadership on Challenges Confronting Males of Color

Statement from 11 Leading Philanthropies in Response to White House Report on Young Men of Color, May 30, 2014

My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Report to the President, May 30, 2014

NewsOne, May 30, 2014
My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Release 90-Day Task Force Report

msnbc, May 30, 2014
Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Takes Crucial Next Step

African American Policy Forum, May 28, 2014
Letter of 200 Concerned Black Men Calling for the Inclusion of Women and Girls in “My Brothers Keeper”

New York Times, March 13, 2014
Room for Debate: The Assumptions Behind Obama’s Initiative, March 13, 2014
Black Male Initiative Must Address Structural Racism

Huffington Post, March 13, 2014
The Mentoring Effect: How the President’s Brother’s Keeper Initiative Taps This Critical Asset

The Washington Post, March 10, 2014
My Sister’s Keeper: Why Obama’s Initiative for Young Men Is Also Good for Young Women

Vera Institute of Justice, March 6, 2014
My Brother’s Keeper – Are Good Programs Enough?‎

Colorlines, March 5, 2014
Four Ways to Go Beyond “My Brother’s Keeper”

ABC News, March 5, 2014
‘This Week’: Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’

The Daily Beast, March 2, 2014
Cory Booker Insists That Helping Young Men of Color Helps the Whole Country

USA Today, March 2, 2014
Tavis Smiley: Address Hardship Facing Boys of Color, February 28, 2014
The Rally Cry for Young Men of Color

The Root, February 27, 2014
How Obama Plans to ‘Keep’ His ‘Brothers’

PBS NewsHour, February 27, 2014
How Should the U.S. Improve Opportunity for Young Men of Color?

New York Times, February 27, 2014
Obama Starts Initiative for Young Black Men, Noting His Own Experience

Huffington Post, Valerie Jarrett, February 27, 2014
My Brother’s Keeper: A New White House Initiative to Empower Boys and Young Men of Color

White House Fact Sheet, February 27, 2014
Opportunity for All: President Obama Launches My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to Build Ladders of Opportunity For Boys and Young Men of Color

Christian Science Monitor, February 27, 2014
‘My Brother’s Keeper’: Obama Confronts Obstacles Facing Young Men of Color

Yahoo News, February 26, 2014
Obama Embraces a Lifelong Cause: Helping Minority Boys Succeed

The Washington Post, February 11, 2014
President Obama to launch major new effort to help young minority men

Foundations Respond to My Brother’s Keeper

Statement from 11 Leading Philanthropies in Response to White House Report on Young Men of Color

Executives’ Alliance
Statement From the Executives’ Alliance on the New White House Initiative, My Brother’s Keeper

Association of Black Foundation Executives, Susan Taylor Batten
Black Men and Boys: Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize

Atlantic Philanthropies
Atlantic Joins the White House and Leading Foundations to Expand Opportunities for Young Men of Color

California Endowment, Dr. Robert K. Ross
The Promising Prospects of My Brother’s Keeper

California Endowment
The California Endowment Teams Up with White House to Expand Opportunity for Young Men of Color

Kapor Center for Social Impact, Cedric Brown
Inside the White House: My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

Knight Foundation
Ten Leading Foundations Join Forces to Expand Opportunity for Young Men of Color

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Aaron Dorfman
Foundation Leaders and President Obama Get It Right With ‘My Brother’s Keeper’

Open Society Foundations, Ken Zimmerman
A New Milestone for America’s Young Men of Color

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Maisha Simmons
Coming to the Rescue of Young Men of Color

Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Emmett Carson
Mission of My Brother’s Keeper Resonates in Silicon Valley, Too

Skillman Foundation, Tonya Allen
National Attention, Local Efforts Strengthen Hope for Boys of Color

Skillman Foundation, Tonya Allen (with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan)
Young African American Men Are Not Only Part of Detroit’s Turnaround, They Are the Key to It

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation Applauds President Obama’s Young Men of Color Initiative

W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Gail Christopher
A Push to Support Boys and Young Men of Color

What Can You Do?

Join the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge.

Check out the Opportunity Agenda’s communications tools and resources.