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

Posted February 27, 2014
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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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