The Annie E. Casey Foundation Joins White House Initiative to Support Young Men of Color

Posted February 27, 2014
Newrelease caseyjoinswhitehouseinitiativetosupportymoc 2014

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion and nine oth­er phil­an­thropies are join­ing efforts with the White House to help America’s young men of col­or reach their full poten­tial and give all young peo­ple the oppor­tu­ni­ty to lead a healthy and pro­duc­tive life. The Casey Foun­da­tion, along with The Atlantic Phil­an­thropies, Bloomberg Phil­an­thropies, Cal­i­for­nia Endow­ment, Ford Foun­da­tion, John and James L. Knight Foun­da­tion, Kapor Cen­ter for Social Impact, Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tions, Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion and the W.K. Kel­logg Foun­da­tion have pledged to con­tribute a com­bined $7.5 mil­lion to coor­di­nate the initiative.

This is an impor­tant mile­stone in a move­ment that has been grow­ing over the last 20 years, and we whole­heart­ed­ly sup­port this effort,” said Patrick McCarthy, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Casey Foun­da­tion. Our grant mak­ing focus­es on ensur­ing that all chil­dren have a fair chance to reach their poten­tial in the neigh­bor­hoods, school and in life. But when we take an hon­est look at our com­mu­ni­ties, it becomes obvi­ous that boys of col­or have a tough time mak­ing it through child­hood successfully.”

McCarthy was one of the 28 chief exec­u­tive offi­cers of foun­da­tions who met in 2013 to form the Exec­u­tives’ Alliance to Expand Oppor­tu­ni­ties for Boys and Men of Col­or. Today’s announce­ment builds upon that meet­ing of phil­an­thropic orga­ni­za­tions and advances the pledge to explore strate­gies and engage in research to sup­port effec­tive action. In addi­tion, the new ini­tia­tive lever­ages these phil­an­thropic invest­ments and will work to bring togeth­er more pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor par­ties that can help to cre­ate work­able solu­tions. The White House announce­ment rec­og­nizes the sig­nif­i­cant role that the phil­an­thropic com­mu­ni­ty is already play­ing to expand oppor­tu­ni­ty for young men of col­or. The ini­tia­tive is well-aligned with sev­er­al new efforts that the Casey Foun­da­tion is leading:

  • Race for Results: On April 1, 2014, a new KIDS COUNT report will be issued that includes a new state-lev­el index com­par­ing how well chil­dren in dif­fer­ent racial/​ethnic groups are meet­ing key mile­stones to long-term suc­cess. Infor­ma­tion in the study includes rec­om­men­da­tions on how all sec­tors can work togeth­er to improve oppor­tu­ni­ties and out­comes for chil­dren. In addi­tion, dozens of new indi­ca­tors dis­ag­gre­gat­ed by race will be added to the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter.
  • Reduc­ing Youth Incar­cer­a­tion: This effort con­tin­ues more than two decades of work to reduce youth incar­cer­a­tion — an effort that impacts many young men of col­or who are in the juve­nile jus­tice system.
  • Dis­con­nect­ed Youth: This work focus­es on a num­ber of new invest­ments that focus on re-engag­ing the 6.5 mil­lion young peo­ple who are not in school or in the work­force.
  • Prov­ing What Works: This effort looks to devel­op­ing evi­dence-based prac­tices relat­ing to children’s well-being, health and safe­ty, but these solu­tions are not always test­ed and proven to work in com­mu­ni­ties of col­or. Sev­er­al cur­rent invest­ments are help­ing to demon­strate what works to improve out­comes for chil­dren of color.
  • Grade-Lev­el Read­ing: Last month, the Casey Foun­da­tion issued a data snap­shot that showed that 83 per­cent of African-Amer­i­can and 81 per­cent of Lati­no fourth graders are read­ing below pro­fi­cient lev­els. This report was writ­ten in con­cert with the Cam­paign for Grade-Lev­el Read­ing that brings atten­tion to the need for chil­dren to read at grade lev­el by fourth grade — a key pre­dic­tor of high school graduation.

African-Amer­i­can and Lati­no boys face sig­nif­i­cant bar­ri­ers to suc­cess at every stage – from their ear­ly years into adult­hood,” said McCarthy. The new ini­tia­tive dove­tails with our Foundation’s efforts to strength­en fam­i­lies, build paths to eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty and trans­form strug­gling com­mu­ni­ties into safer and health­i­er places to live work and grow. We are proud to be part of this pub­lic-pri­vate ini­tia­tive that can find path­ways to oppor­tu­ni­ties for young people.”

The offi­cial news release from the White House press office can be found at white​house​.gov.

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