The 2025 Vision for Black Men and Boys
Jan 20, 2011
On Jan. 12, hundreds of stakeholders from the social, political and advocacy arenas met in Washington D.C. and via webcast for the release of a new report, We Dream a World: The 2025 Vision for Black Men and Boys. CLASP hosted the meeting in collaboration with the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys, as part of CLASP's 40th anniversary policy series, Policy and Promise for Low-Income People in America.
The report identifies concrete policy solutions to ensure workforce success, raise educational achievement, reduce health disparities, improve conditions for low-income fathers and improve the overall well being of black men, their families and communities. Participants discussed the need for elevating key issues facing black men and boys in our nation, shared strategies in communities are already making a difference for this population, and encouraged others to get involved.
"Every day we're losing a generation of young people," said keynote speaker Dr. James L. Moore, III. "But do we have the will to change?"
Currently, less than half of black male students graduate from high school on time and only 11 percent complete a bachelor's degree. According to the latest Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate for black men is 16.5 percent, nearly double the 8.5 percent rate for their white counterparts. And among black males with a bachelor's degree, only 43 percent have a job that pays at least $14.51 per hour, or enough to put them significantly above the federal poverty level if they have to support a family of four.
Policies targeted at improving outcomes for black youth are especially critical. Young males of color need supports that are both robust and culturally relevant, including pathways to education and the labor market for youth who have disconnected from the mainstream. Coordinating resources and systems to support all aspects of youth development will put more young people on a path to solid education, meaningful careers, and eventual self-sufficiency.
While, as a nation, we have moved toward a more equitable and just society, we still have miles to go. Black men and boys continue to face drastically worse life outcomes. They are valuable human capital that we are losing. The nation simply cannot afford to write off another generation.