Keeping Connected Newsletter: Happenings to Watch
Issue: October 2012
Partnership Circle Convening - On September 24, 2012 CLASP convened the Partnership Circle as a forum for Researchers and Policy Makers working on the issues of race and young black men to explore intersections and identify opportunities to work collectively to advance policy and practice. This group of experts representing national policy, academia, education, civil rights, and youth development spent the day identifying ways that this work could be better integrated across disciplines to maximize the impact of the collective work. There was a great deal of enthusiasm as researchers presented and discussed possible application of their research to policy and practice. Policy makers were interested in the role that researchers could play in identifying more culturally competent research designs and metrics to document impact of interventions serving youth facing multiple barriers. The Partnership Circle will engage in ongoing activities and the Keeping Connected eUpdate will keep the field posted on the activities. Sam Fullwood, senior fellow and director of the Leadership Institute at the Center for American Progress, posted this commentary that captured the energy of the meeting.
Opportunity Nation and the White House Council for Community Solutions Call For Youth Opportunity Grants - Opportunity Nation, a bipartisan, cross-sector national campaign whose goal is to expand economic opportunity and close the opportunity gap in America, released a Shared Action Plan aimed at repairing the ladder of opportunity for youth and young adults. In its eight-point plan, Opportunity Nation calls on Congress to renew the Youth Opportunity Grant program and reinforce the White House Council for Community Solutions' recommendation to drive the development of successful cross-sector community collaboratives, including building on and replicating the effective components of the Youth Opportunity Grant Program. CLASP and the Campaign for Youth have long-advocated that federal policy should invest in communities of high youth distress and build off the success of local communities in integrating new and existing services and funding streams to support comprehensive youth programming across systems and involving a variety of local stakeholders. Youth Opportunity had tremendous outcomes in high poverty communities, reaching out-of-school youth and a high percentage of youth of color. Learn more about the Youth Opportunity Grants and their legacy through the CCRY Network>>>
Exciting New Funding Opportunity to Improve Outcomes for Young Men of Color -Forward Promise is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's new $9.5 million initiative to promote opportunities for the health and success of middle-school- and high-school-aged boys and young men of color. CLASP worked with RWJF extensively to identify issues of importance for this initiative. We're now pleased to share that RWJF will be funding work in four key areas:
- Alternative approaches to harsh school discipline that do not push students out of school;
- Solutions that focus on dropout prevention and increasing middle school retention and high school graduation rates;
- Mental health interventions that tailor approaches to boys and young men who have experienced and/or been exposed to violence and trauma; and
- Career training programs that blend workforce and education emphases to ensure that students are college- and career-ready.