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Building a Backbone

MBK Leadership Forum


Around the nation, a dynamic model for regional coordination of neighborhood engagement has emerged to advance positive outcomes for boys and young men of color. The “Backbone” model braids together vibrant, responsive, relational efforts of hyper-local leaders with the infrastructure of larger organizations.  In this session, we will hear from local and national leaders working to improve outcomes for boys and men of color through regional and neighborhood place-based partnership efforts and community-based groups to learn how to jumpstart and sustain a Regional Backbone Network. The panelists share best practices and lessons learned with an emphasis on the roles and talent needs at both the local and regional levels to maximize success for boys and young men of color.

Expected Outcomes

Viewers will hear stories, learn best practices, and also explore lessons learned and advice focused on:

  • Building and sustaining a regional backbone network.

  • Braiding neighborhood work into backbone organizations at early, middle and sustained phases of a backbone’s development.

  • Examining the distinctions in talent and roles needed to maximize outcomes.

Chellie Fernandez,  MBK San Antonio Opens in a new tab

Hayling Price,  Harlem Childrens’ Zone Opens in a new tab

Carlisha Williams,  ImpactTulsa Opens in a new tab

Dr. Sonya Anderson,  ThriveChicago Opens in a new tab

Moderated by:

Colin Groth, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Development,  Strive Together Opens in a new tab

Chellie Fernandez
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Chellie Fernandez, MBK San Antonio


The MBK Framework

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.