Working in parallel with , a White House initiative designed to expand opportunity for boys and young men of color, eleven philanthropic organizations have announced a plan of action for the private sector to work with the public sector to achieve that vision.
Outlined in a report entitled (executive summary, 12 pages, PDF), the plan is supported by $194 million in initial investments from the , and philanthropies, and the , , , , , , and foundations, along with the . The report identifies barriers to success for young men of color in four key areas — health, education, employment, and the juvenile and criminal justice systems — and offers recommendations for dismantling those barriers, as well as cross-sector strategies for promoting youth leadership and empowering young men to effect change in their own communities; changing harmful stereotypes about boys and young men of color; facilitating "place-based" efforts to support young people; and building a "pipeline" of data, research, and innovation to advance the most effective solutions.
Key initiatives and funding partnerships announced in the plan include $21 million in initial investments to create a pool of matching funds to help local communities reduce disparities and improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color; $55 million over three years to accelerate efforts to reduce suspensions, expulsions, school-based arrests, and juvenile court-referrals; $81 million to promote comprehensive reforms in the juvenile and criminal justice system aimed at reducing the disproportionate and unnecessary use of confinement; $26 million to promote positive and healthy narratives for and about boys and men of color and to minimize the effects of implicit bias; and $11 million to spin off the with the aim of having it serve as a model and intermediary for additional field building.
The on My Brother's Keeper released its own blueprint for action at the end of May in which it outlined a set of initial recommendations for the White House.
"We cannot afford to leave a generation of young people behind, especially when we know there are solutions that are within our reach and that could make a meaningful and lasting difference," said Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment. "Our approach may be targeted, but our vision of opportunity will benefit all Americans."