Policies and Practices to Improve Outcomes for Males of Color
In the last several years, there has been a greater focus on understanding the issues facing males of color and identifying potential solutions. Unfortunately, there are policies and practices that currently impede the ability of males of color to succeed and limit their opportunities. But many individuals, organizations, and systems leaders are already engaged in creating a more promising future for males of color. To do this work, it's essential to understand both the barriers and opportunities in order to effectively place resources and maximize the positive impact for boys and young men of color.
CLASP worked with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as it developed its Forward Promise Initiative to identify opportunities to use the foundation's resources to impact boys and young men of color in ways that complement existing efforts in the field. We engaged in roundtable discussions with national experts, online surveys of the field, and in-depth conversations with practioners across the country. As a result, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released a Call for Proposals in order to fund projects impacting boys and young men of color.
A synthesis of our work is available for public use below.
We conducted a series of four small-group discussions with nationally recognized experts on the issues of boys and young men of color. In these sessions, participants discussed current policies impacting outcomes for this population, potential solutions, accessibility of data to make the case for solutions, perceived political will for moving those solutions forward, and partnerships that could strengthen collective efforts. The groups were divided into four topic areas to create more focused conversations on particular issues and draw on the specific expertise of participants.
Survey of the Field
CLASP staff conducted a series of online surveys to further assess policy issues and opportunities for boys and young men of color. The surveys targeted local and state level practitioners, youth systems leaders, and advocates. We developed four surveys that mirrored the topical areas of the roundtable discussions.
Survey participants were asked to rank a series of policy issues in order of current importance in their communities. They were then asked to answer a series of questions about the three most important policy issues currently facing their community. These included items such as:
» Whether there was sufficient data available to understand the magnitude of an issue
» If the participant was aware of any efforts underway locally to impact a particular policy issue
» And if the participant had any sense of the political will in the community to really create change on that issue
These surveys provided valuable insight from the local perspective on issues facing boys and young men of color. Participants also highlighted key barriers to their work and offered solutions to meet those challenges. The full survey report is available here.
In the coming months, CLASP and RWJF will release a series of policy briefs on solutions to address high school dropout, school discipline, and trauma for boys and young men of color. As they become available, they will be featured here.
Questions about CLASP's work around males of color? Contact Rhonda Bryant, Senior Policy Analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign up to receive our Youth updates to find out more about CLASP's latest Youth work.