Black Male Achievement

Focus on Black Male Achievement

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Over the course of the past few years, several initiatives have been implemented in Charlottesville that directly or indirectly address black male achievement. The City of Promise is promoting a cradle to college and career agenda in a neighborhood where over 85% of residents are Black. This initiative directly affects approximately 100 Black male children and youth. A City task force recently released a report analyzing the disproportionate numbers of Black youth in the juvenile justice system. Approximately 75% of these youth are male. For the past year, the City has received a technical assistance grant from the National League of Cities to develop strategies to promote Black male achievement. The Alliance for Black Male Achievement is determined develop a cohesive and coherent shared vision, measurable goals, and a clear plan to change the narrative about and for Black boys and young men in Charlottesville.

This document outlines what we know about the state of Black boys and young men in Charlottesville, incorporating information about current outcomes in the areas of family, education, workforce, health, safety, and the justice system. It briefly describes action steps recommended by the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families. It also describes which, if any, action steps have been implemented or will be implemented. This document is intended to give the community a starting point to identify desired outcomes and develop collaborative strategies to achieve them.

Young Lions is a program that receives technical assistance from the City Leadership to Promote Black Male Achievement (pdf) which draws attention to the prominent roles municipal leaders can play in a growing national movement to improve outcomes for black males, who continue to face some of the largest disadvantages of any demographic group in America.  Numerous studies show that black males suffer disproportionately from poverty, family instability, failure in school, unemployment, incarceration and homicide.

Reflecting a growing awareness and sense of urgency, major foundations, policymakers, business leaders, researchers and nonprofit organizations have recently come together to initiate a national dialogue on these challenges. In 2008, the Open Society Foundations launched the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, which aims to create hope and opportunity for black men and boys who are marginalized from economic, social, educational and political life in the United States.