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Being my Brother's Keeper in Chicago: Our Action Plan to Support our Boys and Young Men of Color

Jan 1, 2019

This report summarizes findings from real conversations with boys and young men of color in Chicago as well as results from convenings with community-based organizations. The findings inform an Action Plan that includes opportunities for individual Chicagoans, community-based organizations, and institutions to act around the needs of boys and young men of color in the city. 

  • Young people want a variety of adult supporters, and there is a need to create opportunities to develop new positive connections between youth and adults.
  • Mentors exist within the young peoples' network, so it is important to create opportunities to strengthen relationships between youth and their existing adult supporters.
  • Boys and young men of color need more opportunities earlier on to identify their own purpose in life. Hence, there is a need to create more opportunities earlier on for young people to identify their purpose(s) that can ultimately lead to a career.
  • Boys and young men of color want to be seen as people, not as racist stereotypes. A solution for this is to create opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate the humanity of boys and young men of color.
  • Boys and young men of color don't have the information they need or feel like they have to get in trouble to get help. To solve this issue, it is important to create tools that allow youth to easily connect to services that they need without already being a program participant and advocate for youth that are currently being turned away by eligibility requirements.
  • Decision makers have fragmented and incomplete data that does not capture the full experience of boys and young men of color. Hence, community-based organizations and institutions should develop a data infrastructure to capture and utilize outcome information to respond to the needs, challenges, and opportunities facing boys and young men of color.
  • Organizations that support boys and young men of color should be resourced for long term work. To do so, community-based organizations and institutions should restructure the grantmaking and distribution process.