Investing in Young Men and Boys of Color: The Promise and Opportunity

February 27, 2013 | Philanthropy News Digest |  Link to article

Improving the health of and educational and employment opportunities for young men and boys of color - the demographic cohort most likely to grow up in poverty, live in unsafe neighborhoods, and attend underresourced schools - requires alternative approaches to school discipline, job training, and postsecondary degree completion, as well as cultural shifts among health professionals, educators, and youth-serving agencies, a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Law and Social Policy finds. Based on a literature review, roundtable discussions, and surveys of practitioners, advocates, and experts, Investing in Young Men and Boys of Color: The Promise and Opportunity (26 pages, PDF) recommends a series of investments in at-risk and disconnected youth that includes expanding pathways to jobs and education, increasing their access to quality health care, and taking cross-system "case management" approaches to dropout recovery and reengagement programming. The report also calls attention to racism and lack of leadership, insufficient support for community activism, lack of collaboration, inadequate public funding, and uneven access to and ineffective use of data as ongoing barriers to effective resource allocation and policy change.

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