Many barriers make the path to adulthood especially difficult for young men of color. They are more likely to grow up in poverty, live in unsafe neighborhoods and go to under-resourced schools. Moreover, actions that for other young men would be treated as youthful mistakes are judged more severely and are more likely to have lasting consequences. What is at stake for America is the possibility of losing an entire generation of productive men, who will fall short of their potential, live less healthy and successful lives, and fail to build and strengthen their communities.
Forward Promise -- an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation -- seeks to find the best ideas to help young men of color succeed in life, school and work. Through this Call for Ideas, we are actively seeking ideas from a broad group of individuals and organizations -- ideas that will help shape our future grantmaking strategy. Ultimately, Forward Promise will identify promising and innovative programs, policies and approaches to evaluate what works, and spread successful models to communities that need them.
Please submit your innovative, collaborative approaches to improve the trajectory for middle- and high-school-aged young men of color in two or more of the following three areas: health, education and employment.
If you have questions, please join the Forward Promise Forum.
Maisha Simmons is a program associate at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her work, which enables her “to see change on a wide scale and be part of the Foundation’s enormous and exciting mission,” includes project research, assisting grantees and applicants on strategies and action plans, helping design new initiatives, evaluating proposals, and monitoring programs and grants.
Simmons holds an M.P.A. from CUNY/Baruch College, School of Public Affairs, and master certificate in public administration from Kean University, and a B.A. from Douglass College, Rutgers University.
Updated: October 31 2011