"Americans, as a diverse people, must begin a serious, direct, frank dialogue on the issue of race. We must get beyond political posturing, finger-pointing, and scapegoating to talk about the issue that has agitated America for over 400 years."
- Dr. Bobby Austin, Repairing the Breach, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 1996
"Systemic change does not come without expense. Time, resources, reputation and relationships all require adjustments and sacrifice as we move from charitable giving to a justice-based framework of philanthropy."
- Dorian O. Burton and Brian C.B. Barnes, Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2017
In 2012, the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement and Candid (formerly Foundation Center) formed a partnership to research and monitor the philanthropic sector’s explicit investments in the emerging field of Black male achievement (BMA). Since the ignition of this innovative partnership, the nation has experienced ebbs and flows in the BMA field and movement, while cross-sector leaders, organizations, and networks have rumbled hard to reverse the seemingly intractable tide of disparities facing Black men and boys.
The first report, produced in 2012, Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys, was groundbreaking in its research and analysis of targeted investments in Black men and boys. The report concluded with the words of Open Society Foundations chairman George Soros, "It is my hope that this report will motivate other philanthropists and foundations to invest in efforts to improve achievement by African-American boys and men and reverse the serious damage inflicted over many years of systemic injustice. This is a generational problem. It requires a long-term commitment."
Recent events have brought our nation face-to-face with a reckoning of race relations and racial justice for not only Black men and boys but for women and girls and Indigenous populations in our country. The groundbreaking partnership that was formed in 2012 also experienced shifts.
Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces to form Candid in 2019. And in May 2020, as the country reeled from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement announced that it was sunsetting its operations after 12 years.
Although there is much work still ahead of us, there are enduring fruits from our labor. Together we have curated more than 250 research reports with policy and programmatic recommendations for improving life outcomes for Black men and boys in America. We are archiving this knowledge in the BMA Legacy Collection, hosted by Candid. There is a wealth of content in the collection to help the field of Black male achievement answer the question "Where do we go from here?" Although ongoing research and data are essential, the BMA Legacy Collection provides leaders and organizations in the BMA field with valuable information and historical context to be the curators of the change they’re seeking to see. We hope this collection strengthens future generations in their commitment to continue the work.
CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement