In Milwaukee, men and boys of color suffer health disparities, low graduation rates, and low educational attainment, which all contribute to negative outcomes that result in economic, social, and political exclusion. The CA-PPI Minority Male Achievement Program was created to fill these gaps using a collective process to guide stakeholders to action while encouraging coordinated focus and alignment. The mission of the Minority Male Achievement Program was to improve life outcomes for boys and men of color in Milwaukee by creating infrastructures for impact and that mobilize collaborative action.
The work of the Minority Male Achievement Program included 1) collecting and communicating information on solution-focused research and promising practices that impact minority male achievement in measurable ways; 2) developing and advocating for policy and best practices recommendations; 3) coordinating and mobilizing philanthropic investments to support key community-based implementations; and 4) implementing demonstration projects and advocacy efforts grounded in evidence of effectiveness and impact.
The Minority Male Achievement Program assumed the belief that by creating an integrated infrastructure in which a broad variety of community stakeholders can direct their laudable energy and expertise, combined with rigorous evaluation efforts, increased community awareness, and philanthropic support, Milwaukee will not only positively impact health and life outcomes for boys and men of color in meaningful, sustainable and measureable ways, but lead to a better understanding and appreciation of the resilience, skills and assets boys and men of color bring to bear in this region.
The Minority Male Achievement Program determined that the greatest impact would occur through focusing on the following impact areas and factors that impact male achievement:
- Family and Social Development: Strengthening families of color and increasing involvement of men and fathers in the lives of children.
- Education K-16: Improving access to quality education and learning opportunities before, during and after school, and supporting boys and men of color, pre-K through higher education.
- Employment and Workforce Development: Improving access to quality job training and supportive wage employment opportunities, and creating pathways to entrepreneurship and wealth creation for men and boys of color.
- Criminal Justice System Interaction: Addressing disproportionate criminal justice contact and confinement of men and boys of color, and strengthening reentry support and resources.
- Health and Wellness: Improving the social, emotional, mental and physical well-being of boys and men of color, eliminating the culture of violence, and acknowledging the role of trauma.
- Community Engagement: Strengthening cross-sector engagement and linking available resources and assets to support boys and men of color and their families.
The Minority Male Achievement Program also played a key role in supporting the Milwaukee Boys and Men of Color (BMOC) Initiative aimed at addressing the multiple and systemic issues that place men and boys. The BMOC Initiative intentionally aligned with President Obama's White House My Brother's Keeper Initiative. To respond we are reaching far into the public, private, grassroots, and nonprofit sectors and working together to fill the gaps to positively impact minority males.
Using My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, the CA-Minority Male Achievement Program and BMOC Milwaukee worked to advance a shared vision – a Milwaukee where all boys and men of color are healthy, productive and empowered to live their lives to the fullest potential.