MBK Communities apply an equity lens to every approach to uncover policies and practices that have historic and systemic implications for boys and young men of color. MBK focuses on issues impacting individuals and groups historically oppressed or underserved in order to build coalitions that address oppression at the cross-sections of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, etc. It is no longer acceptable to champion “equity” for some people; we need to achieve equity for all people.
Understanding Racial Equity
Partners have a common understanding of racial equity that includes all marginalized groups.
Empowerment of Traditionally Marginalized Communities
Local decision makers create new opportunities for those most affected by policies to have a meaningful say in creating new policies and change.
The work of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance in Richmond, CA are led by RYSE, a community non-profit committed to healing justice, racial justice, gender justice, queer justice, through trauma-informed care and harm reduction policy and programming in the greater Richmond area. RYSE’s Theory of Liberation works so that young people feel loved and so that systems are welcoming, responsive, and reflective of youth and young adults of color. RYSE understands gender identity, race, class, etc. as intersectional, non-binary social constructs, and believes wellness for boys and young men of color exists when there is wellness for girls and young women of color and gender non-conforming young people of color.
STEPS TO IMPROVEMENT
- Produce and share a toolkit to achieve an understanding of the distinction between equality and equity.
- Coordinate a one-part racial equity training series with staff that lays out the history of institutional and structural racism in America, and its long standing impacts on social issues and outcomes today.
- Conduct a multiple-part racial equity training series with staff and stakeholders.
- Review available local data and indicators of high-level challenges facing boys and young men of color with partners collectively and release a baseline report card.
- Support grassroots community efforts to amplify inequities and engage authentically with marginalized communities.
- Intentionally including vulnerable members of the community in a way that is empowering and inviting.
- Provide a forum for community members to listen to each other’s concerns and disagreements in a healthy, respectful way.
- Invite community members who are often not in a position of power to take a leadership role in a community meeting or structurey.