The work of creating lasting, improved outcomes for boys and young men of color begins locally. Research shows that the collective work of community leaders, community members, and public and private agencies pursuing the same goals for boys and young men of color can lead to sustainable, place-based change.
In April 2018, we launched a national competition to identify and support several cities, towns, counties, and Tribal Nations that accepted the MBK Community Challenge. We sought MBK Communities that were making steady progress and had the potential to showcase what it takes to substantially improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color, especially in reducing youth violence and growing the pipeline of mentors.
The MBK Community Challenge Competition
The MBK Community Challenge Competition centered on the MBKCCC impact and seed grantee alumni, the backbone institutions working to overcome the accumulation of generations of discrimination, racism, and trauma that shows up at the community, family, and individual levels. These grantee sites were selected as exemplary models for improving the lives of BYMOC, with the potential to advance and enhance efforts nationally. The MBK Community Challenge Competition’s financial and in-kind support catalyzed grantees’ work and accelerated their impact, attracting and inspiring others to get involved and help sustain a movement that lifts up boys and young men of color for the long-term.
This narrative documents the competition’s inspiration, highlights the alumni grantees’ achievements, outlines the responses and pivots due to the COVID-19 and racial pandemics that occurred in year two of the grant period, and showcases how the MBK Alliance will continue to support our MBK Communities and help them to affect long lasting systems change. We hope these stories of impact will inspire more communities to join the MBK Network and become a Certified MBK Community with the MBK Alliance.