City of Yonkers Leading the Way on Black Male Achievement
YONKERS, NY – January 24, 2018 -- Today, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) released a new report that finds cities have increased investment and action to support Black men and boys in cities across the United States. Promise of Place: Building Beloved Communities for Black Men and Boys gauges city-level commitment to Black males through a Black Male Achievement City Index, which scores 50 cities according to their promise in helping Black men and boys succeed, and outlines clear action steps to make further strides. Yonkers is spotlighted as a “City on the Horizon”—a municipality beginning to scale up its investment in Black men and boys.
“Yonkers efforts to increase Black male achievement have been impressive in scale, depth, and coordination across all levels of city administration,” the report states, crediting Yonkers’ creation of a thriving My Brother’s Keeper movement as key driver of its efforts to improve the lives of young men of color.
“As CBMA celebrates a decade of working to uplift Black men and boys as assets to our communities and our country, we issued this report to track city-level commitment, investment and action to advance Black Male Achievement,” said Campaign for Black Male Achievement CEO Shawn Dove. “CBMA’s core mission is to elevate the local leaders and hometown heroes that are driving this important work forward in their cities. With the field updates, promising strategies, and models of courageous leadership presented in Promise of Place, we are encouraged and emboldened by the work happening in Yonkers, even as we recognize there is still much more to do in improving life outcomes and opportunities for our Black men and boys.”
The second edition Promise of Place finds that, even as support at the national level is eliminated or scaled back, cities are leading the way to champion Black Male Achievement. The new report finds 62 percent higher level of engagement for advancing Black Male Achievement across all 50 cities included in the index. Detroit and Washington, D.C. remain the two highest scored cities with a score of 95 while Jackson, MS, Seattle, WA, Omaha, NE, and Mobile, AL had the greatest progression in scores since 2015. Cities not captured in the first report—such as Denver, CO, and Yonkers, NY—have since become highly engaged in leading Black Male Achievement efforts.
“In Yonkers, we take pride in the multi-faceted approach in assisting young men of color who may be diverted from the pathways to success,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “My Brother’s Keeper and so many of our supporting programs pave the way for our children. We are honored to be recognized by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement as it verifies the hard work and commitment of our community in ensuring our young men have the foundation necessary to enact positive change in their lives and their future.”
Increased engagement and support is critical to counter the challenges Black men and boys continue to face compared to other demographic groups. For example, Black men born in 2001 have a 1 in 3 likelihood of imprisonment compared to a 1 in 9 chance of all men; 25 percent of Black children do not graduate high school on time, compared to the national average of 17 percent.
“Yonkers’ young people are magnificent, and they hold the keys to our future in their hands. Yet too many of them, particularly young men of color, have been delayed, distracted or diverted on their paths to success. No longer. Yonkers is blessed to have leaders of one mind and one heart, Champions of Equity, working together to elevate all our children,” said Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada. “We are honored and energized by CBMA’s recognition of our efforts and look forward to delivering many opportunities for our young people to flourish as adults.”
“I feel honored to be a part of this collaborative team of city leaders committed to targeting the deficiencies of opportunity and deficits of our boys and young men of color. I am very proud of the fact that the work we have done towards that end has garnered national recognition, while making great strides towards improving academic achievement and employment opportunities for this often overlooked demographic,” said Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic, Executive Director of the Nepperhan Community Center.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano accepted the national My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge (MBK) in 2016, and appointed Yonkers Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin M. Quezada and the Executive Director of the Nepperhan Community Center, Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic, as co-chairs of Yonkers MBK. Since then, dozens of dynamic programs have been created around the city and in Yonkers’ eight high schools with a growing number of middle and elementary schools programs now beginning to thrive, including Each One- Reach One mentoring program and Cross-Age Literacy Tutoring. The City of Yonkers also established an African American Advisory Board tasked with reviewing city policies and making recommendations based on behalf of the City’s Black population. Other local organizations such as the Nepperhan Community Center and the YMCA of Yonkers established mentoring and anti-violence programs.
The new report spotlights high-scoring cities and “Building Block” cities that represent model policies and practices as well as cities on the horizon—municipalities beginning to scale up their investment in Black men and boys. Cities were scored on: 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.
Visit cbma.org/promiseofplace to:
- Download the full report,
- Browse the Index, interactive national map, and download scorecards for all 50 cities, and
- Learn what cities can do to improve life outcomes for Black men and boys.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN FOR BLACK MALE ACHIEVEMENT:
Established in 2008 as an initiative of the Open Society Foundations, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) is a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys. In 2015, CBMA spun off from the Open Society Foundations as an independent entity that, through a national community of over 5,200 members and 2,700 organizations, empowers and connects local leaders and organizations to share knowledge, resources, and best practices to strengthen the field of Black Male Achievement. Learn More: blackmaleachievement.org.