Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement

by Grace Sato; Seema Shah

May 13, 2014

Building on the groundbreaking report Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys, this companion piece explores the diverse, multidisciplinary, and cross-sector work to advance black male achievement. Based on interviews with 50 philanthropic, nonprofit, government, academic, and business leaders, the report also offers recommendations for what it will take to strengthen the field moving forward.
  • Scholars are increasingly debunking deficit-oriented representations of black males and studying factors that promote success. Changing the narrative in media and public opinion is also essential.
  • The field should continue to leverage social media and digital platforms in creative and powerful ways for grassroots organizing, collaboration, and communication.
  • To advance evidence-based practice, organizations must be explicit about goals, disaggregate data, and evaluate interventions.
  • Because the challenges facing black men are systemic in nature, holistic, preventative, and systemic solutions are key. While a greater emphasis on policy advocacy may be needed, significant initiatives at each level of government are underway.
  • Philanthropic supporters of the field should offer longer funding commitments, permanent endowed funds, alternative models of support, and greater investment in organizational capacity.
  • Partnerships and networks must work to ensure that activities are coordinated and resources are optimally leveraged. The corporate and faith sectors are critical constituencies to engage.
  • Foundation commitments have grown steadily in recent years, and a wide range of nonprofits with various focuses and approaches are working in this area. Sustaining the field requires building leadership among these sectors and others at both the grasstops and the grassroots.
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