Occasioned by the recent high profile killings of several African American boys and men by the police, the phrases BLACK LIVES MATTER!, I CAN’T BREATHE! and HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT! are the battle cries of a new generation of civil rights activists combatting the school-to-prison pipeline and its attendant structural narrative concerning the social, cultural and educational deficits of African American males. The College Bound Brotherhood passionately believes “black lives matter” and is rigorous in its efforts to prepare African American young men for life and career in order to enrich our communities’ social, cultural and economic capital while countering the story of African American male social deviance that, all too frequently, leads to life-ending aggressions. In this vein, the Marcus Foster Education Fund is excited to announce that it has been awarded over $2 million in grant support from the Kapor Center for Social Impact and the College Access Foundation of California to improve college opportunity for Bay Area African-American male students. These resources serve as a significant investment in sustaining the Brotherhood’s effort to demonstrate the value and power of Black male lives.
At the heart of the Brotherhood’s work is the question: if Black lives matter, how can young men, their families, community, schools and non-profits conduct coordinated actions and long-term strategies that improve the post-secondary success of African American male students? In addition to active engagement in denouncing the social and institutional predicament in which African American males have historically found themselves, the Brotherhood is working to establish what we do want to see: a measureable, disciplined and systemic approach to educating African American young men that will lead to their inevitable life success.
The approach the Marcus Foster Education Institute is taking to achieve this end involves five school districts: Oakland; Hayward; San Francisco; Antioch and West Contra Costa and nine of the strongest college prep non-profits in the Bay Area: In Oakland- East Oakland Youth Development Center, Youth Radio, Student Program for Athletic and Academic Transitioning (SPAAT) and the East Bay College Fund; in Hayward-Concerned Parent Alliance; in San Francisco-Alive & Free and 100% College Access; in West Contra Costa-Young Scholars Program and in Antioch- Parents Connected. These districts’ combined enrollment of African American male students represents 40% of all African American males in public schools throughout the nine Bay Area counties.
The funding from the Kapor Center for Social impact and the College Access Foundation of California serves to support these individual agencies to work with young men in these school districts and to improve district capacity to enhance the college readiness of its student body while also creating a movement for change across the San Francisco Bay Area. The investment also supports the Marcus Foster Education Institute to serve as a convener, organizer and facilitator of cross regional support involving data collection and monitoring, policy development, scholarships, college persistence events and career exposure for the young men. Each of the non-profits are providing, testing and improving interventions for cohorts of young men in grades 9-12 and for those currently in college to ensure their success.
As we learn the lessons to help transform the educational experiences for the young men, the efforts will be shared with other districts to create real opportunities for meaningful change in the Bay Area and beyond. Indeed, BLACK LIVES MATTER! The Marcus Foster Education Institute welcomes you to learn more about this important work and to lend your support beyond protest. For more information please contact Brian Augsburger, Program Manager at the Marcus Foster Education Institute at 510 777-1600 x102, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.marcusfoster.org and www.collegebros.org.