Projects & Initiatives
Click the pictures below to read about our projects & initiatives
BLACK BOYS DESERVE TO SMILE
MENTAL HEALTH + BLACK BOYS
"From 2001 to 2015, the suicide risk for Black boys between the ages of 5 and 11 was two to three times higher than that of White boys, according to a new research letter in JAMA Pediatrics" (Bridge, 2018).
Ensuring the continuous experience of joy among black and brown boys is a top priority, with a strong focus on their mental health. The program offers a holistic approach that includes activities such as yoga and mindfulness exercises, which promote relaxation, self-awareness, and emotional well-being. Moreover, participants have access to teen mental health first aid training, equipping them with the skills to recognize and address mental health challenges in themselves and their peers. By incorporating social-emotional learning practices, the program creates a supportive environment that prioritizes mental health, empowering black and brown boys to thrive and find joy in their lives.
CORNERSTONE SCHOLARS INITIATIVE
It is important that we set our young men up for success upon graduating high school. Cornerstone Scholars Initiative aims to assist our scholars in making the right, sound, and informed post-secondary decisions. These decisions can and will affect their lives as they continue to develop.
This initiative was created with the goal of matching up our high school graduates with a coach that will guide them through effective decision-making for two years. It will also launch and support programming for young African American men, share resources and learning tools, recruit coaches, and build community.
We are proud to partner with Eleven+, an organization dedicated to disrupting systemic inequality by providing underserved students with transformative, paid internship experiences. By joining forces, we aim to expand opportunities for black and brown boys, ensuring they have access to meaningful and career-relevant experiences that propel them toward success. Together, we strive to bridge the opportunity gap and empower these young individuals to achieve their full potential and go above and beyond societal expectations.
A COMMUNITY APPROACH
Project Manhood: A Community Approach is an innovative program that places emphasis on educating black and brown boys through honest and open discussions about sexual risk avoidance and the importance of cultivating healthy relationships. By creating a safe and inclusive space, the program encourages participants to engage in truthful and transparent conversations about topics often considered taboo. Expert facilitators provide accurate information on sexual health, consent, boundary-setting, and emotional well-being, empowering our boys to make informed decisions. Through a community-based approach, Project Manhood fosters a supportive network that values cultural sensitivity and encourages personal growth, aiming to equip black and brown boys with the knowledge and skills necessary for a healthy and fulfilling life.
BLACKBOY STORYTELLERS PROJECT
An important aspect of life for black boys is owning and sharing their unique stories. Confidence and pride must be encouraged, fostered, and cultivated within each boy that walks through our doors. The Blackboy Storytellers project allows our boys to do just that and more. We introduce our boys to filmmakers, artists, and storytellers throughout the county. The goal is simple. We want to encourage our boys to embrace their stories and share them with the greater community. Our boys will author books and create films as an opportunity to both help and heal.
The act of play and early exposure to S.T.E.A.M share many of the same benefits. Both cultivate a child’s curiosity, executive function skills, and creative thinking. The goal is to leverage BLACKBOY S.T.E.A.M to provide early exposure to STEAM for our black boys while cultivating interest in and excitement for the various areas of S.T.E.A.M. Our approach is unique in that we are intentional about addressing the issue of cultural representation and identity in play.
We must change the narrative and be intentional about encouraging black boys to pursue careers in STEAM. These industries are driving the growth of the U.S. economy, and our children DESERVE to be participants in that. Together, let’s make STEAM accessible, representative, and fun.