The Promise of Place: Cities Advancing Black Male Achievement

by Anand Dholakia; Eric K. Grimes; Jameelah Morris

Dec 3, 2015

National challenges regarding race, law enforcement, and access to opportunity negatively impact Black men and boys; yet, many approaches to addressing these issues are anchored at the city-level. This Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) report unveils a Black Male Achievement (BMA) City index to track and communicate cities' efforts to advance Black males. The BMA Index scores 50 cities, which include approximately 5.5 million Black males, more than 30 percent of all Black men and boys in the country. The report spotlights the ten highest scored cities and provides in-depth profiles of how the top three scoring cities are responding to the needs of Black men and boys to help them achieve their full potential.
The Promise of Place: Cities Advancing Black Male Achievement
  • Steps all cities can take to improve life outcomes for Black men and boys include mobilizing a Black male achievement stakeholder community, establishing a re-imagine campaign, and developing and implementing a Black male achievement agenda to improve life outcomes for Black men and boys.
  • The BMA Index measures demographics around race and gender; city-led commitment and support; organizations and leaders connected to CBMA; programs, initiatives, and organizations supporting BMA; and targeted philanthropic funding.
  • On average, small cities have the highest total scores and are the strongest performers in the categories of both CBMA membership and targeted funding supporting Black men and boys.
  • The three top scoring cities were Detroit, Michigan; Oakland, California; and Washington, D.C. The lowest three were San Diego, California; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Columbus, Georgia.
  • Detroit is home to over 228 CMBA individual members committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys.
  • The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is the first public school district in the U.S. to create a dedicated department that specifically addresses the needs of African-American male students.
  • There are a number of initiatives and organizations in Washington, D.C. supporting Black male achievement, including DC Trust, Shop Talk Storytelling Series, Youth Perception Social Awareness Campaign, and Concerned Black Men.