The Promise of a Healthy California: Overcoming the Barriers for Men and Boys of Color

by Dwayne Marsh; Farzana Serang; Joe Brooks; Jon Jeter; Mary Lee; Natalie Gluck; Ruben Lizardo

Apr 1, 2010

PolicyLink argues for a community approach to expanding opportunities for men and boys of color, acknowledging the importance of "place" to ultimate life outcomes. The report takes key conclusions from "Building Equalizing Schools" and expands on it with recommendations for developing public will and building a platform and infrastructure for action.
  • Besides being a moral imperative, expanding opportunities for black males is in the economic interest of the state of California. According to one study, reducing black and Latino male high-school droputs by 10 percent would save the sate's criminal justice system $1.2 trillion.
  • A multi-dimensional strategy should bring together programs and interventions to help men and boys of color navigate the broken system and policy reform to fix or replace the broken system.
  • Public opinion may already be leaning in the direction of the types of reform needed. In a 2007 survey, the number of respondents who believed prevention is more effective than harsh penalties was double those who believed the opposite.
  • Aspects of successful black male achievement programs include: involvement and employment of community residents in programming; program development base on a needs assessment; programming in schools, jails, or day-labor centers; counseling for trauma; and cultural models of male leadership.