The National Youth Alliance on Boys and Men of Color is an alliance of five youth organizing networks committed to advancing the leadership of young men of color in organizing for change in their communities.
The Alliance has three main goals:
- To bring together national networks and key organizations empowering young men of color to build relationships, share resources and practices, and develop shared strategy.
- To ensure that the voices of young men of color themselves are included in new initiatives to improve outcomes for boys and men of color.
- To create opportunities for youth leaders to meet directly with policy makers and funders to share their recommendations.
The Alliance is led by a Steering Committee consisting of five key youth organizing networks, which collectively represent tens of thousands of organized young people of color:
- The Alliance for Educational Justice
- Community Justice Network for Youth
- Dignity In Schools Campaign
- Opportunity Youth United
- Sons and Brothers
The Alliance is coordinated by the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing and the Movement Strategy Center.
Justice Reinvestment Campaign Fund
The NYABMOC, in partnership with the Executive’s Alliance on Boys and Men of Color, launched the Justice Reinvestment Community Award Fund to provide support for youth-led campaigns to address systemic barriers to equity for boys and young men of color each year. We are excited to announce we will be awarding $600,000 in 2018 through our Justice Reinvestment Campaign Fund!
- $275,000 matching grant from RISE 4 BMOC for the 2017 cohort of Justice Reinvestment Community Awardees.
- $200,000 awarded to the 2018 cohort of Justice Reinvestment Community Awardees.
- $125,000 in small and rapid response grants through each NYABMOC Network.
Collectively, the NYABMOC networks are advancing Justice Reinvestment Campaigns: a call to action for policymakers to divest from from institutions and policies that are hurting boys and men of color and invest in community solutions and policies that support us. Additionally, this promotes our core strategy of Youth Organizing for young men of color because it builds the power of those most impacted by inequities, results in concrete victories that address the roots of inequity, and supports the holistic development of those involved. Our campaigns focus on three policy areas:
- Educational Justice: Ending the school-to-prison and deportation pipeline by supporting the removal of militarized police from schools and increase support for restorative practices.
- Youth Justice: Ending youth incarceration and the criminalization of youth of color while creating pathways for restorative justice in communities.
- Workforce Justice: Creating family-sustaining and living wage jobs, careers and enterprises while removing employment and economic barriers for young men of color.
Justice Reinvestment Community Awards
The Justice Reinvestment Community Award was designed and managed by youth leaders and staff from the NYABMOC Organizing Council. It supports local campaigns to dismantle systems that harm our communities while also resourcing restorative solutions led by young people of color.
Campaign Fund Community Awards: $275,000 in 2017 Justice Reinvestment Community Awards for an initial cohort of 11 organizations engaged in youth-led campaigns to address systemic barriers to equity for boys and men of color. These awardees will receive additional support due to a generous matching grant from RISE 4 BMOC!
In Spring 2018, we selected an additional 10 organizations for the awards which include $20,000 to incubate, accelerate or activate their campaign; and, an invitation to attend the NYABMOC National Convening that will inform collaborative campaign opportunities across our networks.
2017 Justice Reinvestment Community Awards
Baltimore Algebra Project (Baltimore, MD) - The Baltimore Algebra Project is completely youth-run and addresses the conditions of boys and men of color through educational organizing to establish a local and national student bill of rights for education and full employment.
Fearless Leading by the Youth - FLY (Chicago, IL) - Fearless Leading by the Youth leaders will organize to end youth and child incarceration by requesting the complete shutdown of the Audy Home Campaign (Cook County Juvenile Detention Center) and replacing it with a full comprehensive neighborhood, community and city-wide Restorative Justice model and framework.
Flowers and Bullets (Tucson, AZ) - Flowers and Bullets Collective launched a campaign to convert a vacant 10-acre elementary school into an urban greenspace and sustainable farm tentatively called "Midtown Farm". The farm is for young men of color to develop culturally specific alternatives and diversions to incarceration while building a "green pipeline", including sustainable job skills, skills for healthy living and leadership skills.
Friends and Families of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (New Orleans, LA) - FFLIC's newly launched project, "The Black Man Rising Movement (BMR)" empowers youth training to be successful advocates for themselves when they are faced with the inequities that the education and juvenile justice systems in Louisiana often present toward Black boys and men of color.
New Orleans Community Action Team - EMPLOY (New Orleans, LA) - The mission of the EMPLOY Collaborative at the Cowen Institute is to reconnect 16-24 year-old young men of color to high quality education and employment pathways. EMPLOY will launch the New Orleans EMPLOY Youth Action Team to actively lead in addressing the issues that confront them as opportunity youth.
Power U Center for Social Change (Miami, FL) - Power U will launch a new campaign that will call on Miami-Dade County Public Schools to divest from policing and punitive discipline in order to make greater investments in restorative justice and reproductive justice. In May 2017, the campaign released a report on school climate in MDCPS.
PrYSM (Providence, RI) - Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) launched the Community Defense Project campaign that combines legal support, community organizing power and mental health resources, while building a base to challenge police violence and to end the school-to-prison pipeline in Providence Public Schools.
Resilience Orange County (Santa Ana, CA) - Resilience OC will organize a participatory research campaign for students and parents to create sets of proposals and recommendations to the Santa Ana Unified School District for establishing Sanctuary Schools in partnership with community-based organizations and legal services that provide resources for families facing different types of immigration-related issues, including detention and deportation.
Urban Peace Movement (Oakland, CA) - Urban Peace Movement will engage young men from their leadership program to lead the "1400 Jobs for Freedom Campaign", which is pushing Alameda County to design and implement a program to hire 1400 formerly incarcerated community members into quality jobs with the county and its partners.
Urban Youth Collaborative (New York, NY) - Urban Youth Collaborative has been organizing to end the school-to-prison pipeline, and the coalition's efforts have largely focused on changing New York City's school discipline policies in order to reduce the impact of school suspensions.
Youth Justice Coalition (Los Angeles, CA) - The LA for Youth Campaign builds positive youth development programming by transferring funding from law enforcement and incarceration to support youth and community development.
2018 Justice Reinvestment Community Awards
Black Organizing Project (Oakland, CA) - The Black Organizing Project is a Black member-led community organization working for racial, social and economic justice through grassroots organizing and community-building in Oakland.
Education Justice Alliance (Wake County, NC) - The Education Justice Alliance is a group of concerned individuals in Wake County working for a reduction in the number of public school students pushed off the academic track through unfair suspensions, harsh discipline policies, and academic failure.
Fathers and Families of San Joaquin (Stockton, CA) - The mission of Fathers and Families of San Joaquin is to promote the cultural, spiritual, economic and social renewal of the most vulnerable families in Stockton and the greater San Joaquin Valley.
MILPA (Salinas, CA) - Motivating Individual Leadership for Public Advancement (MILPA) is a purpose-oriented, mission driven collective committed to transforming organizations, institutions, and systems by advocating for inner and social transformation for young people and their families impacted by crimmigration systems in East Salinas.
Opportunities for Youth: OYU Phoenix CAT (Phoenix, AZ) - Opportunities for Youth (Phoenix CAT) harnesses the power of cross-sector collaboration to create a comprehensive system of opportunity that reengages the valley’s disconnected youth.
Phladelplhia Student Union (Philadelphia, PA) - The Philadelphia Student Union exists to build the power of young people to demand a high quality education in the Philadelphia public school system. PSU is a youth led organization that makes positive changes by learning how to organize to build power.
ReThink NOLA (New Orleans, LA) - ReThink’s mission is to support youth of color in becoming thoughtful and capable leaders through the process of critically rethinking our educational experiences and taking action to create transformative systemic change.
Solutions Not Suspensions (Minneapolis, MN) - Solutions Not Suspensions is a coalition dedicated to ending discipline disparities, advancing restorative justice and keeping Minnesota students of color IN school.
Southeast Asian Freedom Network (National) - Southeast Asian Freedom Network is a Southeast Asian grassroots organization, organizing groups/individuals/organizations formed to increase the power of Southeast Asian community as an organized base in the United States.
West Dayton Youth Task Force (Dayton, OH) - The mission of the West Dayton Youth Task Force is to initiate programs for young people of all ages that will instill the core values of the Nguzo Saba. They are the premier youth organizing entity in West Dayton that supports Black students and their families.
Policy and Philanthropic Recommendations
In 2014, the Alliance created a comprehensive set of recommendations for funders and policy makers to improve the lives of boys and men of color. In January 2016, the Alliance set policy priorities for the coming year:
Justice Reinvestment: We call on policy makers to divest from from institutions like prisons and police that are hurting boys and men of color and invest in systems that support us. We are particularly focused on:
- Educational Justice: Remove police from schools, end the 1033 program which militarizes police forces in schools and communities, and increase support for restorative practices.
- Juvenile Justice: Ending juvenile incarceration
- Workforce: Create jobs and job training for young men of color
The Alliance will work to coordinate and support campaigns focused on these issues.
Support Youth Organizing: Youth organizing is a vital strategy for improving outcomes of boys and young men of color. It transforms the lives of individual young people, builds lifelong leaders, and addresses root causes of inequity. We hope that philanthropic leaders will recognize youth organizing as one of the anchor strategies for this work and will support it accordingly to address a range of issues.
These are the core principles upheld by the National Youth Alliance
Ensure the active participation and leadership of boys and young men of color at all levels of decision-making. In other words, nothing for us without us. No one understands the plight of young people of color better than we do, because we live through it daily. Our voices, experiences, ideas and solutions not only need to be included in a meaningful way, they must be central to the conversation and process.
Invest deeply in programs and strategies that build the power of communities to eliminate the structural inequities that impact boys and young men of color. Contrary to the messages that are often propagated about us, the challenges we face are not because we are lazy, violent, or apathetic. They are due to hundreds of years of oppression and the persistence of inequity in our communities, including under resourced schools, lack of jobs, and discrimination from police and courts. Traditional one-on-one mentorship programs alone cannot address these issues. The focus must be placed on eliminating these long standing inequities. Youth and community organizing are especially needed because they empower us to take collective action and transform us as individuals and communities at the same time. While we take seriously our responsibility for strengthening our communities, we also call on our country’s leaders to join us in addressing the real barriers to equal opportunity that still surround us.
Employ an expansive frame that recognizes the diversity of boys and young men of color as well as the importance of empowering and improving the lives of girls and women of color as well. Boys and young men of color have complex identities beyond the black and brown binary. Often excluded from the conversation are our indigenous/Native American, Asian Pacific Islanders and South East Asian brothers. In addition, expanding the frame of “masculinity” to include queer and transgendered identified boys and men of color is a critical shift that will ensure a more inclusive set of strategies. We also recognize that we cannot improve the lives of boys and young men of color if we leave behind our sisters and mothers.
This work is supported by The California Endowment and the Executive Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color.
The National Youth Alliance for Boys and Men of Color has released a statement in the wake of recent murders of people of color across the country.
A statement from the National Youth Alliance on Boys and Men of Color (formerly the Youth Table on Boys and Men of Color) released in 2015, which outlines recommendations for policy and philanthropic investment to truly improve the lives of boys and young men of color.