Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, New Jersey
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced a new round of community partnership grants in six cities across the country. The grants are part of the foundation’s $11.5 million investment in improving outcomes for young men of color, Forward Promise, launched in 2012.
The foundations’ focus on middle school and high school boys and young men of colors, strengthens President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, which was announced in February. The RWJF is one of 10 foundations that has publicly committed to expanding programs and services for young men of color.
“We are thrilled to announce this new round of grants to improve the health and well-being of boys and young men of color,” said Program Officer Maisha Simmons, in a statement. “These community-driven initiatives bring together diverse partners that are looking to make a collective impact in their cities around issues of education, health, mentorship, and jobs. It is through efforts like these that we’ll build a strong culture of health and a pipeline of opportunity for all Americans.”
Each community partner received a $250,000 Forward Promise Grant. Below is a brief description of the awardees and their scope of services.
NOLA for Life is a project of New Orleans’ city officials, organizations, social services and young people to holistically prevent violence, build safer neighborhoods and connect young men with the resources they need to thrive.
The Northside Achievement Zone is a collaboration of organizations and schools partnering with families in North Minneapolis to prepare children to graduate from high school and be ready for college.
The Phoenix Indian Center prepares Native American students in the Phoenix area for high school, college and career success. With their partners, their program provides Native American male students with academic support, substance prevention, mental health services, and job training.
The Safe Schools Consortium is a multi-stakeholder collaborative in Chicago that works to keep kids in school and promote safe school climates for all students by implementing restorative practices that are an alternative to suspensions and expulsions.
The Central Arkansas Boys and Men Success Team (BMOST) coordinates efforts in Little Rock to prevent dropouts, train young men for careers, and connect young people with caring adults.
Project Malama Na Pua, Nurturing the Children, is a coalition of organizations in Oahu, that is building a community-driven school for native Hawaiian students and is focusing on success of males at the middle and high school level.
These grants represent the second round of funding for the Forward Promise Initiative. The grantees above have secured matching grants through local funders in their respective cities.
Judith Fenlon is the Editor of the Money and Business Section for the Chronicle of Social Change