A new report released Tuesday highlights the District for its progress in scaling investment in Black male achievement.

Released by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), the report reveals increased investment and action in Black men and boys in cities across the country — even as federal support wanes.

The report also outlined clear action steps for cities to make further strides.

The Black Male Achievement City Index first launched in 2015 and the latest report revealed a 62 percent higher level of engagement for advancing Black male achievement across all 50 cities.

The report, titled “Promise of Place: Building Beloved Communities for Black Men and Boys,” and the Black Male Achievement Index was presented by stakeholders who included Sheba Rogers, the Promise of Place program manager for the campaign; Shawn Dove, CEO of the CBMA; Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Anthony Smith, executive director of Cities United.

“There’s progress,” Rogers said. “Even as support at the national level is eliminated or scaled back, the new report finds cities leading the way to champion Black male achievement, with a 62 percent higher level of engagement for advancing Black male achievement across all 50 cities included in the index.”

For example, Rogers said, Black men born in 2001 have a 1 in 3 likelihood of imprisonment compared to a 1 in 9 chance for all men; 25 percent of Black children do not graduate high school on time, compared to the national advantage of 17 percent.

CBMA created the index in its first “Promise of Place” report three years ago to score the efforts of 0 cities that are home to more than 30 percent of the nation’s Black men and boys, based on level of engagement and committed action.

The latest report spotlights high-scoring cities and so-called building block cities that represent model policies and practices for others to follow, as well as cities on the horizon — municipalities beginning to scale up their investment in Black men and boys, Dove said.

Cities were scored on indicators that include demographics; city-led commitment to Black men and boys, membership in the CBMA national network, local presence of national initiatives focused on Black men and boys and level of philanthropic funding in this sector going to support local organizations.

Promise of Place spotlights the building blocks that promising cities for Black Male Achievement must utilize to improve the lives of Black men and boys in their communities.

Promising cities adhere to three BMA core values which are collective work and responsibility; respect and recognition; and bold goals and outcomes.

The three core values underpin eight building blocks of progress: city administration commitment to Black men and boys; reimagining BMB; BMB stakeholder community, actionable agenda for BMB; targeted funding; effective practice base; coordinated capacity building infrastructure; coordination and continuum of BMA activities.

D.C. and Detroit remain the two highest scored cities with a score of 95.

D.C. demonstrated the most significant increase in philanthropic funding since 2008, moving from about $1.3 million per capita in 2012 to about $7.2 million per capita in 2017 of targeted funding supporting BMA work, according to the report.

This significant jump over the five-year period is largely due to The Susan T. Buffet Foundation’s approximately $1.4 million grant to Advocates for Youth for project support work and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s approximately $1.3 million grant to the DC Public Education Fund to support D.C. Public Schools’ Empowering Males of Color initiative.

“I am encouraged by the amazing strides we have made as an organization and as a field over the past decade and particularly since the 2015 edition of Promise of Place,” Dove said in introducing the report. “With the field updates, promising strategies, and models of courageous leadership presented throughout this report, I hope [everyone] will feel as encouraged and emboldened as I do that the path we are on is the right one. The reality is that dismantling inequitable systems and policies built over centuries will require a generational commitment from all of us who care about justice and equality in America.

“Now, we must work towards translating our collective efforts into real policy change that will address and eradicate the barriers facing Black men, women, and children,” Dove said. “While I still believe that there is no cavalry coming to save the day, I know that our dedication to advancing the field and movement of Black Male Achievement is what creates the iconic leadership Black men and boys need to realize their true promise and purpose.”

For the full report, go to www.blackmaleachievement.org.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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