Support Our Impact and Seed Communities
In November 2018, MBK Alliance selected the winners of its inaugural MBK Community Challenge Competition—results-oriented organizations across ten states and Puerto Rico—as national models to expand evidence-based initiatives to reduce youth violence, grow effective mentorship programs, and measurably improve the lives of boys and young men of color. Today, these organizations are continuing to advance these critical efforts, while also working to meet essential needs of communities of color that are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe in these organizations, and we hope you will support them.
You can help these organizations continue to make steady progress to substantially improve the lives of boys and young men of color. Use the links below to donate through Network for Good.
The NACA Inspired Schools Network facilitates a local community of practice, documents practices and challenges especially relevant to boys and young men of color, and engages youth in sharing their social-emotional learning experience with local educational leaders, informing future practices and policies. In the midst of COVID-19, NACA moved its training online, including short daily videos narrated by youth, elders, and community members. The trainers share their talents, including traditional indigenous cooking and recipes, poetry, music, digital storytelling, and more.
The Mass Mentoring Partnership works in collaboration with the MBK Boston, Youth Options Unlimited, Boston Public Schools, and subgrantee programs to mobilize citizens across Boston and connect them to evidence-based mentoring organizations that will train mentors and match them with mentees. Mass Mentoring is helping mentors and mentees continue positive relationships during social distancing by offering resources, best practices, technical assistance and advocacy.
Black Family Development, in partnership with the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, scales restorative practices efforts through youth and adult training through R.E.A.L. (Restorative, Engaged, Aspiring, Leading) Brothers, a cross-racial, cross-generational program focused on restorative practices and gang diversion. A social services agency, Black Family Development has continued to deliver on its commitment to young people and their families, engaging in virtual wellness checks, food distribution, and increasing broadband access.
YOUTH GUIDANCE AND THRIVE CHICAGO, Chicago, IL
Youth Guidance creates and implements school-based programs, such as its acclaimed Becoming A Man (BAM) initiative, which enables children in underserved communities to overcome obstacles, focus on their education, and ultimately succeed in school and in life. During the pandemic, Youth Guidance is providing online counseling, making calls to connect with students via their parents and caregivers, and connecting families to resources to cope with food insecurity, job loss, and to meet basic needs.
Thrive Chicago, a collective impact initiative that engages a diverse group of leaders from the nonprofit, business, government, education and philanthropy sectors to prepare all Chicago youth for a vibrant future, serves as the anchor institution for MBK Chicago. Thrive Chicago has continued to convene the dozens of cross-sector leaders that comprise the MBK Chicago action team to share best practices and lessons learned, coordinate and align on COVID-19 response, and ensure the MBK Chicago action plan remains on track and will be responsive to unique changes stemming from the crisis.
Change Happens, in collaboration with local partners, executes the Each One of Us mentoring program for 200 boys and young men of color at Jack Yates High School. The program both supports the educational goals and growth of all participants, while also addressing violence prevention. Through their COVID-19 Relief Fund, Change Happens is supporting meals for seniors and school children, laptop computers and internet for community members, and hygiene and safety supplies for those in need.
Liberty Hill serves as the backbone of the Unlock Justice Initiative, which powers youth organizing in Los Angeles County to end youth incarceration and expand successful youth-violence reduction programs. The Liberty Hill Foundation launched the Liberty Hill COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund for Community Organizing, which is designed to support immediate community organizing needs on the frontlines and fuel emergency advocacy efforts in Los Angeles County to protect the most vulnerable during this time of unimaginable upheaval due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Center at Sierra Health Foundation operates an integrated model of youth violence prevention, intervention, and mentoring that scales up three existing initiatives that provide mentoring and wraparound services to at-risk boys and young men of color between the ages of 10-to-25 in seven neighborhoods. The Center's COVID-19 response funds ensure the region's most vulnerable families, individuals and businesses receive assistance for essential supplies, food, rent, utilities, and other needs.
The Puerto Rico Community Foundation funds the Loíza Alliance for Peace, a collaboration among youth-serving community organizations that provides violence prevention mentorship, negotiation, workforce development, and educational opportunities to boys, youth and men of color in the town of Loíza. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Puerto Rico Community Foundation continues to provide educational and preventive health services in vulnerable communities around the island. The Foundation is also serving as a lead agency to coordinate and distribute donations and educational resources.
Using best practices for age-appropriate programming the Community Center serves 250 boys and young men of color organized in groups by age and stages of development and provides group mentoring, case management, and wraparound support services. During the pandemic, NCC is delivering meals to families in need throughout Yonkers, and coordinating online instruction and activities for participants in its afterschool programs.
Juma is a nationally recognized youth development organization focused on employment, education, financial capability, and career support services designed to help break the cycle of poverty by paving the way to work, education, and financial capability for youth across America. Juma is continuing to offer job and soft skills training virtually, and working to ensure young people still receive stipends for work they would have completed before the pandemic.
The Fresno Boys and Men of Color is a community of young leaders who heal, advocate, and serve to make a healthy home for all. The program follows the institute’s proven model, which weaves together job skills development, adult-youth mentoring relationships, and youth-led advocacy campaigns. Fresno Boys and Men of Color is continuing to convene mentoring circles with young people, ensuring that despite the social distance, they have access to community and continue to engage with the program’s curriculum.
The African-American Empowerment Network works together with residents and leaders to transform distressed neighborhoods and improve the economic condition and quality of life of African Americans and citizens of Greater Omaha. Together with local partners, Empowerment Network leads the North Omaha Coronavirus Emergency Plan.
RYSE has partnered with the City of Richmond’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, and the Hidden Genius Project to enhance promising multi-tier impacts for boys and young men of color in shifting conditions of dehumanization and harm, as well as building relationships, preventing violence and developing leadership skills. RYSE launched the Youth COVID-19 Care Fund to provide direct financial support to youth and families in Richmond and West Contra Costa County in acute situations and may face barriers in accessing resources from other rapid response funds.
BUILD’s mission is to engage youth in the schools and on the streets so they can realize their educational and career potential and contribute to the stability, safety, and well-being of boys and young men of color. During these uncertain times, BUILD is launching a general helpline to connect families with diverse resources across the West and South Sides—from technology to food to mental health care. BUILD is also working to pivot program delivery models in light of social distancing on a myriad of activities, including camps, jobs, and counseling.
The Lawndale Christian Legal Center provides holistic legal services to boys and young men of color in the Lawndale community. The Center’s vision is to raise up justly treated youth who are embraced by their families and community, restored from trauma, empowered to lead, and free from the criminal justice system. During the pandemic, Lawndale continues to offer criminal defense legal services, social services, and mentorship.
New Life Centers’ Urban Life Skills program targets youth ages 12-to-24 in two demographics: gang-involved or justice-involved youth on probation and youth referred through local schools, community agencies, and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and Cook County Jail, providing them with mentoring, street outreach, violence mediation, intervention services, and street-based counseling. In the midst of the pandemic, New Life Centers has expanded its program offerings to include providing food to more than 400 families a week.