Thursday, May 15, 2014

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

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New Research on the Field Highlights Successes and Opportunities

New York, NY — The Foundation Center and the Open Society Foundations have announced this week the release of a new report, “Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement.” The report is the latest addition to a growing suite of resources at, a web portal that facilitates engagement, collaboration, and strategic decision making among those working to promote positive outcomes for black men and boys in America.  Based on interviews with 50 leaders in the social, academic, government, and business sectors, the report maps the landscape of work in this area and offers recommendations for what it will take to strengthen the field moving forward.

This publication is a timely resource in light of a growing chorus of national initiatives focused on improving the economic, social, and physical well-being of black males.  These include President Obama’s announcement in February launching My Brother’s Keeper, a public-private partnership supporting young men of color, and the formation of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, launched last year by 26 foundation leaders.

“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,” said Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of Harlem Children's Zone, in the report’s afterword.  “We are moving in the right direction, but we need to keep in mind that our commitment must be for the long haul.”

Building a Beloved Community, commissioned from the Foundation Center by the Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement, explores diverse, multi-disciplinary, and cross-sector efforts in the field.  The leaders interviewed for the report include Robert K. Ross, president of the California Endowment; Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation; and Emmett Carson, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.  It also includes a foreword by respected philanthropy scholar Lucy Bernholz, an afterword by Geoffrey Canada, and a conclusion offering a vision for success.

“This report provides a snapshot of the breadth and depth of engagement in the field of black male achievement in this pivotal moment,” said Seema Shah, director of research for special projects at the Foundation Center and lead author of the report.  “Our hope is that it contributes to ongoing efforts to boost strategic collaboration and invites individuals and organizations from every sector and area of the country to see the role they can play in improving the life outcomes of black men and boys.”

Download the report at along with “bonus” content including podcasts from foundation presidents and BMA field leaders.

Source:  Press release

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