The MBK Equity Framework is a resource designed for any community looking to improve the lives of boys and young men of color and underserved youth. The Framework has been rigorously developed from the ground up in partnership with government, policy, development, equity, and organizational leadership from local and national organizations on the frontlines of youth and community development. 

The Framework is designed so that existing MBK Communities, new and emerging MBK Communities, philanthropic organizations, and practitioners can address the conditions our boys and young men and their families face and reach a new standard of success. The Framework empowers the MBK Network and the people connected to it with the information, training, and resources they need to enact systems change for boys and young men of color in their communities.

Click here to access a PDF version of the MBK Equity Framework. Click here to access a PDF version of the MBK Equity Framework in Spanish.

Why the MBK Equity Framework

The MBK Equity Framework is MBK Alliance’s national standard of excellence, offering principles, best practices and tools for communities to accelerate progress and change social conditions for the nation’s boys and young men of color. The MBK Equity Framework is designed to:

  • Set a standard: Identify systemic actions and elements of success to make progress on local conditions
  • Assess current progress: Evaluate current strengths and opportunities for progress in a local community  
  • Create a blueprint: Chart a roadmap of goals, players, resources and steps to advance outcomes along the six milestones 
  • Identify what works:  Ground local practices in strategies with qualitative and quantitative evidence of proven success. 
  • Center data: Refine approaches with clear data and information to and from communities around how to meet or improve standards.  
  • Strengthen communities: Develop MBK Communities through trainings aligned to the MBK Equity Framework, assessments and coaching support to MBK Communities.  
  • Spotlight what works: Showcase MBK Communities that are making real progress towards the mission of MBK 

Core Values of the MBK Equity Framework

Core values are central to the MBK Equity Framework and helped guide the creation of the assessment. They are:

Young Voices Have Power:

By including the voices, ideas, wants, desires and needs of boys and young men of color they become contributors to their own success.

Together, We Win:

Every person and every community has a role to play in ensuring young people have equal access to opportunity. We must bring local governments, school systems, community-based organizations, philanthropies, businesses, and individuals together to help boys and young men of color thrive.

Proven Solutions that Work:

We tap into data and solutions with proven results as learning points for program and policy execution.  We acknowledge and recognize that underserved communities may have proven results that have not been validated by a third party and value the recorded learning and reflection of solutions that work.


We strive to eliminate institutional and structural inequity and racism to ensure success for communities where it has not been an option.

Policy Focus:

Developing new structures to combat policies that maintain the status quo and underscore the environment where racism thrives unabated.

Disrupt Historic Barriers:

Changing core institutions that create and uphold systems of oppression and opportunity.

Generational Impact:

Our strategies must be sustainable to affect the success of generations of boys and young men of color and shift cycles of oppression.

Results Matter:

The work must produce sustainable results through the use of data, on-the-ground productivity and continuous communication.

The MBK Equity Framework:
Elements of Success


A special thanks to the MBK Alliance’s national partners and MBK Community leaders on the MBK Equity Framework Committee.

In answering President Obama’s call to action, their work and expertise in providing guidance to our communities during the past seven years continues to be essential in the growth of the organization and, most importantly, to the success of the nation’s boys and young men of color.

These organizations include: