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Monday, January 7, 2013
Black Male Achievement - Future Challenges
By tutormentor2 @ 11:21 AM :: 3992 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Articles about tutoring and mentoring programs

 This article can also be found on the Black Star Project web site

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An Interview with Shawn Dove of the
Campaign for Black Male Achievement


Philanthropy News Digest: We've been told that America in 2012 is a post-racial society. Is it?


Shawn Dove: I guess that depends on one's definition and interpretation of "post-racial." If one's definition is a society in which there are no racial disparities when it comes to opportunity, access, and equity, I would say, "Not so much." In 2012, America aspires to be post-racial. But judging by the wealth gap, ethnic and racial disparities in access to high-quality education, and the number of people of color in the House and Senate, I'd say we still have some work to do.


PND: Countless studies and papers have outlined the many root causes of racial inequality in America. If the causes are clear, why do large portions of the African-American community continue to be adversely affected by disparities in education, health care, and employment?


SD: You know, that is the billion-dollar question. Two of our grantee partners, the American Values Institute and the Opportunity Agenda, have done extensive research on implicit bias in America, and what their research revealed was that far too many people hold unconscious racial prejudices that affect their decision making when interacting with races other than their own. So while retail sales managers, for example, will say they don't have racist attitudes or are not prejudiced, they'll also resist putting people of color, specifically African-American males, in roles that have direct contact with customers.


In 2013, a film called American Promise will premiere and lift up the issue of black male achievement, offering all of us an opportunity to have an honest conversation about race and education in America. The film provides a rare look into the lives of two middle class black families as they navigate the ups and downs of parenting and educating their sons. With support from Open Society, the Ford Foundation, and the Fledgling Fund, as well as other partners, a national outreach campaign is being developed to empower boys, their parents, and educators to help close the black male achievement gap and deal with racial disparities.


PND: According to Where Do We Go From Here?, foundation funding for African-American men and boys started to pick up after 2006. To what do you attribute the increase?


SD: Fearless leadership and innovation in the philanthropic sector. Data across issues that have been disaggregated by race and gender. And any number of leaders who have pushed strategies and formed coalitions around targeted solutions designed to improve the life outcomes of African-American men and boys.


Lastly, I would share a quote from one of my colleagues, John Jackson, CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. In a speech he delivered at a recent grantmakers for education conference in New York City, John said, "Programs are progress, and we need progress. But policy is power." And with that, I would like to encourage my colleagues to invest in advocacy and policy change, not just programs. We are dealing with systemic and structural barriers that I believe can only be addressed and solved through policy reform.


Click Here to Read Full Interview

The Village Is On Fire!
OUR LOVE IS THE HEALING WATER...FOR THEM. Please help our struggling young. No amount is too small for you to contribute. I'm reaching out to you again on our fragile children's behalf. 

As you know, building the National CARES Mentoring Movement has been my unceasing passion since 2005, when, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, I founded it as a project of Essence Communications while I was the magazine's chief editor.  When I learned then that a staggering 86 percent of Black fourth graders were reading below grade level, I asked myself two questions: How could this be, and What am I prepared to do about it? You can make a difference in the lives of our children right now by clicking here and donating. Or, if you prefer, please mail your donation to us at 5 Penn Plaza, 23rd floor, New York, NY 10001.


Our work at CARES is equipping under-resourced Black children with the shift in consciousness and undergirding they need to discover the limitless possibilities within themselves; and we are surrounding our youngsters with a community of adults who support and sustain, challenge and champion, value and validate their minds, hearts and spirits. To date, we have connected over 125,000 mentors with more than 130,000 children, and we are currently designing and piloting culturally rich curricula for mentors and academic tutors in 15 locales.


We can no longer be satisfied that our own children--ones raised with every opportunity--are doing well, while ever so near their peers are languishing. Combining our spiritual and financial resources--and our willingness--we have all we need to secure a generation--if we stand together. Please link arms and aims with me and my National CARES Mentoring Movement family as we do our part in building what Dr. King asked us to build: The Beloved Community. 


For the children,    



Susan L. Taylor
Founder and CEO   

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