The Alliance collects and posts opinion pieces about improving opportunities and outcomes of boys and men of color. If you know of others, please share them with us!  To see blog posts on the PolicyLink Equity Blog, click here.

December 17, 2015
By Orson Aguilar
Ingrid Archie recently had been promoted at her job of six years when she was let go. The reason: Her employer had re-evaluated its hiring policies, laying off anyone with a criminal record, no matter how minor. Out of work, with no source of income and a baby who needed clothes, Archie — who as a young adult had been convicted of drug possession — felt she had no choice but to shoplift
September 2, 2015
By Randy Villegas
Last week I joined over 200 youth from around the state at the “Free Our Dreams Advocacy Day” at the State Capitol to rally for issues affecting our communities. We met with dozens of legislators to discuss solutions that promote the health, safety and success for young people of color.

August 29, 2015

"End prolonged solitary confinement for California's youths" The Sacramento Bee

By Beverly Brewster

Imagine you are shut into a windowless room the size of a parking spot and locked up for 23 hours a day. Imagine you have no idea when you’ll get out. Now imagine you are a teenager.This is the reality of solitary confinement, a cruel but all too usual feature of California juvenile detention.
August 9, 2015

"Limits needed on solitary confinement at juvenile halls" The San Diego Union-Tribune

By  Editorial Board

Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, is pushing legislation in the Capitol that would limit the use of solitary confinement in juvenile detention facilities and require better documentation and reporting of incidents in which it is used. The bill, SB 124, has been passed by the Senate and approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee but faces a difficult vote in another committee next week and then the full Assembly. 

August 7, 2015

"I was tired of throwing kids in prison. So I built a place to help keep them out of it." The Washington Post

By John Phillips

A former judge noticed that plenty of resources went to troubled young people — but only once they committed a crime.Today, Rancho Cielo is a comprehensive program to educate and train young people in Monterey County for job opportunities — and keep them out of incarceration facilities like the Natividad Boys Ranch that once occupied the site.

July 29, 2015

"Getting as Serious About Prevention as We Are About Punishment" Huffington Post

By Robert Ross

President Obama recently shone the national spotlight on our criminal justice system; a system which has historically and disproportionately impacted communities of color, is costing taxpayers too much money, and hasn't been smart or efficient enough in addressing the factors that push people to come in contact with the system in the first place.

July 28, 2015

"Unlocked: from Probation to Incarceration" Youth Radio

By Soraya Shockley

At the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro California, Assistant Superintendent Brian Hopson led a tour through the huge, 360-bed juvenile detention center. When it opened eight years ago, the place was pretty much full. But on this particular tour, nearly half the beds were empty. Hopson’s footsteps echoed down the hall as he unlocked a door to an unoccupied unit.

July 21, 2015

"Governor can take a stand on police violence with his pen" San Francisco Chronicle

By Cruz Reynoso and Harry Snyder

Fortunately, the governor is facing a critical opportunity to take action to solve one of the most pressing civil rights issues of our time — not only with his voice, but with his pen. Three bills — AB953, AB256 and SB411 — are making their way to his desk that combat unjust and unconstitutional practices in law enforcement. 

July 4, 2015

"To Stop Crime, Hand Over Cash" The New York Times

By Devone L. Boggan

In 2007, this city of about 100,000 people, north of Berkeley, had the dubious distinction of being the ninth most dangerous in America. That year saw a total of 47 homicides. In some neighborhoods, gunfire was almost a daily ranging from employment to education to criminal justice and beyond. 

July 2, 2015

"A Youth of Color Pipeline from Oakland to Silicon Valley" PolicyLink

By Joe Brooks

We are witnessing a major demographic shift to a majority people of color nation, likely by the year 2043. At the same time, the technology sector is flourishing and has become a pillar of our economy. Acting now to connect youth of color—the country’s future workforce—to the growing technology sector is in the nation’s best interest, and an emerging partnership in Oakland is doing just that.

June 10,2015

"Building Parental Leadership in LCFF Implementation" We'CED Youth

By Claudia J. Gonzalez

Parents were given an overview of LCFF, the landmark 2013 education law that funnels additional funding into school districts based on the number of English-language learners, foster youth, and other needy students.
After gaining basic information about the need for parental involvement in LCFF, attendees broke into groups to brainstorm outreach strategies to shape local community engagement in the implementation of LCFF.

June 9, 2015

"From Youth Trauma to Youth Leadership" Let's Talk

By Carmen Iniguez

A few years ago I went back to school to become a licensed family therapist. Along with my skills of organizing and advocacy (and even mothering, which came later), I wanted to be able to work directly with the young people who must lead the social change we all need. In this role last year I worked with a middle schooler I will call Ramiro.

June 4, 2015

"California Bill Can End Solitary Confinement for YouthCalifornia Bill Can End Solitary Confinement for Youth" Juvenille Justice Information Exchange

On Tuesday, the California Senate successfully passed Senate Bill 124, which goes to the Assembly this summer. If enacted, this bill would be the most progressive piece of state legislation passed in the United States for youth subjected to solitary confinement. Similar versions of this bill have been introduced in the state for the last three years.

June 1, 2015

"We Need Courage to Transform Policing" PolicyLink

By Rosa Aqeel

This year we have seen a plethora of legislation aimed at police reform.  Bills that require body cameras, more training, and our co-sponsored bills that require data collection will go a long way towards improving the status quo.But we must do more.  

May 27, 2015

"Guest commentary: It is vital that we not leave young men of color behind" Inside Bay Area

By Rob Bonta and Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer

As Californians, we all want a strong and thriving state; this means we need our young people to receive a quality education and gain access to good jobs. But we will put all of California's children and the state's future at risk if we don't create more opportunities for our boys and young men of color.

May 15, 2015

"End Immigration Detention" The New York Times

Of all the malfunctioning parts in the country’s broken-down immigration machinery, probably the most indefensible is the detention system. Detention is intended to help enforce the law, but, in practice, the system breeds cruelty and harm, and squanders taxpayer money.


March 25, 2015

"Youth Radio Podcast: Young Entrepreneur Inspired by Black History" Youth Radio

High school student Catory Goodman get’s inspired by the black businesses in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1910s. Her intrigue leads her to a conversation with the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce. 

September 25, 2014

"Why We Should Care About Boys and Young Men of Color" Huffington Post

by Tyrone C. Howard

The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have raised important questions about the fate of young Black men and more broadly speaking, young men of color in this country. Earlier this year, President Obama launched My Brother's Keeper, the timing for this initiative could not be more critical. Although many young people face various challenges across the racial and gender spectrum, it is vital that we understand why we should care about boys and men of color. Read More

September 25, 2014

"California Needs to Look Again at Asian Stance on Affirmative Action" Los Angeles Times

By Karthick Ramakrishnan

Earlier this year, the California legislature tabled a proposed referendum that sought to restore affirmative action in higher education. However, after intense opposition and sustained mobilization by some Asian American voters, particularly by Chinese American voters in Silicon Valley and the Los Angeles suburbs, many Asian American members of the legislature voiced their opposition to the measure, effectively killing it. Read More

September 25, 2014

"California Leaders, New Report Call for Better Tracking of Chronic Absence" Attendance Works

On Friday, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released a report documenting the levels truancy and chronic absence in elementary schools, noting high rates among African-American students, foster children and children who live in poverty. The report, In School On Track 2014, updates an analysis done last year exploring attendance problems statewide. Read More

September 23, 2014

"New Data Reveals Presistent Disparities in Charging Youth as Adults" Center on Juvenille and Criminal Justice

by Lizzie Buchen

A long-overdue report from the California Department of Justice lays bare the egregious racial disparities that pervade the state's juvenile justice system. While “Juvenile Justice in California - 2012,” published on September 11, 2014, reveals a disproportionate impact on youth of color at every step of the justice system, the disparities are perhaps most troubling when the consequences are greatest: when youth are tried and sentenced in adult criminal court. Read More

September 22, 2014

"Series Explores Black Male Experience in the US – I Am A Man Featuring Hop’s Story" Uprising Radio

The events of this summer in Ferguson, Missouri, highlighted an ugly truth to mainstream Americans – that Black men in this country are viewed as so suspicious by law enforcement that they are shot first and questioned later. It is a reality that black men have been living with in the United States since the very beginning. Read More

September 19, 2014

"AB 2060 Workforce Bill Signed Into Law" PolicyLink

by Erika Rincón Whitcomb

 AB 2060 will establish a new competitive workforce training grant program for women and men re-entering our communities and families after being released from prison, to ensure that they have access to training and education, job readiness skills, and job placement assistance. The bill was also identified as a priority by the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Read More

September 18, 2014

"A Chance to Go From Hard Lives to Healing" The New York Times

by Patricia Leigh Brown

Started in 2012, the corps is a novel effort to recruit, train and mentor a new generation of emergency medical professionals: young men growing up in communities in which concentrated poverty, violence and unemployment are well-documented barriers to health and longevity. Read More

September 17, 2014

"Cosplaying While Black? The Homicide of Darrien Hunt" The Nerds of Color

By Jamie Broadnax

This morning I read the link to a news article tweeted to me about Darrien Hunt, a 22-year old Black male who was gunned down by police on Wednesday September 10 by the Saratoga Springs police department. unt never was a threat to anyone or anything. Read More

September 12, 2014

"La Cultura Cura: Cultivating a Movement of Community Health" PolicyLink

by Juan Gomez

La Cultura Cura is a transformative health and healing philosophy led by Jerry Tello of the National Compadres Network that recognizes the importance of cultural values, traditions, and indigenous practices on the path to healthy development, restoration, and lifelong well-being. Read More

September 9, 2014

"COSEBOC director: Boys of Color Still 'woefully behind' in the Classroom"

by Roger Riddell

Founded in 2008, the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) is a national member organization based in Boston and dedicated to helping school and district leaders advance the education of male black and Latino students. Read More

September 9, 2014

"Can the VC Community Disrupt Serial Incarceration"

by Jen Boynton

There is nothing the startup community loves more than a good disruption. And what better to disrupt than the prison-industrial complex — after all, a staggering 100 million Americans have criminal records and keeping them locked up costs us $63.4 billion a year. Read More

September 8,2014

"Series Explores Black Male Experience in the US - I Am A Man Featuring Jon's Story"

The events of this summer in Ferguson, Missouri, highlighted an ugly truth to mainstream Americans – that Black men in this country are viewed as so suspicious by law enforcement that they are shot first and questioned later. It is a reality that black men have been living with in the United States since the very beginning. Read More

September 7, 2014

"Crime, Bias and Statistics" The New York Times

by Charles Blow

Discussions of the relationship between blacks and the criminal justice system in this country too often grind to a halt as people slink down into their silos and arm themselves with their best rhetorical weapons — racial bias on one side and statistics in which minorities, particularly blacks, are overrepresented as criminals on the other. Read More

September 2, 2014

"Transformation: The 2014 Sons and Brothers Summer Leadership Camp Experience" The California Endowment

by Jeremy Lahoud

This year’s Sons and Brothers Camp was the third annual weeklong personal and collective transformative experience sponsored by The California Endowment for young African American, Latino/Chicano, Native American, and Asian Pacific Islander men who live in the communities where the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiatives take place and are active in the Sons and Brothers movement across California. Read More

September 2, 2014

"California: Youth Leaders Thrive at the Capitol" PolicyLink

by Anand Subramanian

In early August, close to 300 young leaders of color and allies from communities across California traveled to Sacramento and met privately with nearly 100 legislators, representatives from Governor Jerry Brown’s office, and high-level administrators, such as State Superintendent of Public Schools Tom Torlakson, to advocate for policy change. Read More

August 28. 2014

"Ten Things White People Can Do About Ferguson Besides Tweet" Dame Magazine

by Kate Harding

If you feel helpless, there are ways you can channel your rage and sadness in real life. Read More

August 27, 2014

"Does Ferguson, MO Matter to Merced Teens?" We'Ced Youth Media

by We'Ced Youth Media

Coming on the back of other murdered black bodies like Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Oscar Grant and Eric Garner, Michael Brown’s death and the subsequent response to protests in Ferguson have raised questions on the state of race relations in our country. We’Ced youth discuss the issue, sharing why Ferguson matters to them. Read More

August 27, 2014

"Why We Should Listen to the Youth Fury From Furgeson"

by Myles Bess

My mom tells me all the time to be careful and mindful of my surroundings — to not upset or scare those around me. But I’m tired of being “managed” in this way. I’ve never been arrested, but I’ve been pulled over and followed by police. It is belittling. I don’t feel protected or served. I feel bullied because of what and who I am. Read More

August 26, 2014

"On Ferguson's Streets, Echoes of Another Fatal Shooting"

by Myles Bess

Youth Radio’s Myles Bess has been reporting in Ferguson, Mo., where 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed, was shot dead by a police officer on August 9th. The shooting touched off protests and sparked a national discussion about race and justice. Read More

August 26, 2014

"The Character Assassination of Michael Brown"

by Mervyn Marcano

It remains unclear why Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson thought it was appropriate to fire six shots into Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year-old who was, by most accounts, fleeing from the officer. Wilson has not been arrested or charged for any crime. Read More

August 26, 2014

"Open Letter in the Washington Post Urges the Obama Administration to Adopt Strategies to End Police Violence"

by PolicyLink

Local and national leaders signed an open letter (also en Espanol), published in the Washington Post, urging President Obama and the U.S.  Department of Justice to take immediate action to end the militarization of police forces and adopt community centered strategies in communities of color. Read More

August 25, 2014

"Mike Brown's Shooting and Jim Crow Lynching Have Too Much in Common. It's Time for America to Grow Up"

by Isabel Wilkerson

Not terribly long ago in a country that many people misremember, if they knew it at all, a black person was killed in public every four days for often the most mundane of infractions, or rather accusation of infractions. No trial, no jury, no judge, no appeal. Read More

August 22, 2014

"More Caring, Less Fear"

by Robert Ross

Young black men in particular are much more likely to be suspected of wrong-doing or targeted as a threat by the police when they have done nothing wrong. Sadly, the targeting extends to our education system as well, and it starts as early as preschool, where African-American boys are often met with harsh discipline rather than caring support. Read More

August 20, 2014

"Three Tips for Starting A New Life in College"

by Malcolm Rivera

I never asked my brother, who attended UC Berkeley, for advice on the transition from high school to college life. But, with one year at UC Davis under my belt, I’ve complied three major points I wish I had asked my brother about before I left home for my undergraduate experience. Read More


These tips worked for me, but only you can determine what your college experience will look like.

August 20, 2014

"Why All Communities of Color Must Demand an End to Police Brutality"

by Deepa Iyer

For Latinos and Asian- and Arab-Americans, Ferguson is our fight too. In fact, Latinos and Asian- and Arab-Americans have a critical stake in reforming discriminatory police practices.Latinos and Asian and Arab-Americans are no strangers to police violence and profiling based on skin color, accent, language, immigration status and faith. Read More

August 20, 2014

"New Stanford Criminal Justice Study Right, But Incomplete and Misleading"

by Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

Criminal justice experts routinely point out a set of facts to show that the system is in need of serious reform. The operative assumption is that these facts will help convince the public that reforms are needed. A much-touted recent study by Stanford psychologists Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt seriously calls this assumption into question. Read More

August 20, 2014

"Here's What Happens to Police Officers Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men"

by Jaeah Lee and Katie Rose Quandt

It remains to be seen whether Wilson will face criminal charges, but a limited review of similar killings by police suggests that the officers more often than not walk away without an indictment, and are very rarely convicted. Read More

August 19, 2014

"Why the Fires in Furgeson Won't End Soon"

by Jamelle Bouie

Talk to anyone in Ferguson and you’ll hear a story about the police. “One of my friends had a son killed by the Ferguson Police Department, about 10 years ago,” said Carl Walker, a Vietnam veteran and former parole officer who came to show his support for demonstrators in Ferguson. Read More

August 19,2014

"Michael Brown and the Danger of the Perfect Victim Frame"

by Jamilah King

Today, if we are to believe law enforcement and personal responsibility-loving politicians such as President Obama, black victims of white racism must still, as Colvin put it, “fit the profile.” Their victimhood is only supposed to matter if their lives are pristine. That’s why St. Louis County law enforcement keeps trying to chip away at the popular image of Michael Brown as a college-bound gentle giant. Read More

August 18, 2014

"Don't Color Them Bad"

by Kiara Harris-Mende

On a visit to the State Capitol, young black leaders and advocates share experiences with legislators - in hopes of helping to shape policies that could determine their future. Organized by the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, students rallied, demanding an end to the use of willful defiance as a school disciplinary standard, and calling on lawmakers and the governor's office to take meaningful action to eliminate clear racial disparities. Read More

August 18, 2014

"Reparations for Ferguson"

by Ta-nehisi Coates

Total police control over black bodies has echoes in American history. Among the many relevant facts for any African-American negotiating their relationship with the police the following stands out: The police departments of America are endowed by the state with dominion over your body. Read More

August 18, 2014

"The Difference Between ALS and Ferguson Is That One Ill Can Be Cured"

by Jia Tolentino

Over the last week and a half, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the Ferguson, Missouri protests have spread over social media almost simultaneously, yet entirely discretely: twinned channels of wildfire blazing through quadrants of your attention that barely touch. Read More

August 15, 2014

"White Supremacy's Latest Round: Retracing the Real History of Ferguson"

by Falguni A. Sheth

The news that a police officer shot an African-American teen several times in the chest was shocking, horrifying, gut-wrenching. But it was not surprising.Two days after the shooting of Michael Brown, another young unarmed black man, this time in Los Angeles, was shot by a police officer. Read More

August 15, 2014

"The Power of Sisterhood Rising"

by Joy Yanga

What happens when fifty young women from all over California come together for a 4-day retreat?  While mainstream media may portray cat-fights and name-calling among women to be entertaining and the norm-- the outcome of Building Healthy Communities’ inaugural Sisterhood Rising Leadership Retreat conjured healing, empowerment, community, self-love, and fun. Read More

August 13, 2014

"Helping Young Men Acieve Their Potential"

by Dr. Robert Ross

merica’s young men of color, particularly those from economically-distressed urban communities, face unique challenges. Many lack access to adequate educational opportunities and support systems that are necessary to succeed in today’s competitive economy. Read More

August 12, 2014

"SB 1010: Fixing California's Racist Drug Laws"

by Zachary Norris

This week, California may get one step closer to eliminating the racist laws that unfairly target low-income communities of color for incarceration. On Thursday, the California State Assembly will vote on a bill that would eliminate groundless disparities in punishment for possession of crack cocaine and powder cocaine for sale. Read More

August 6, 2014

"Training 100,000 Low-Income Youth to Code: Q&A with Van Jones"

by Angela Glover Blackwell

Where are the black and brown Mark Zuckerbergs? That was essentially the question — the challenge — that the musician Prince asked Van Jones, civil rights activist, founder of Green for All, and co-host of CNN’s Crossfire. To build a jobs pipeline from low-income communities to Silicon Valley, Yes We Code will work with community-based organizations that are teaching computer skills to youth of color and help turn these skills into careers. Read More

August 5, 2014

"Colorlines' Twitter Community Talks Gun Violence Aftermath"

by Stacia L. Brown

In support of the third Life Cycles of Inequity report on the ongoing challenges that non-fatal gun violence victims, their families and their communities face, Colorlines hosted a Twitter chat. We asked our followers to weigh in, as well as to share their personal experiences with gun violence, PTSD and other long-term trauma. Read More

August 4, 2014

"Sisters & Brothers in the Capitol: #SolutionsNotSuspensions & #Healthy4All for #CABMoC"

The California Alliance for Boys and Men of Color held it's annual advocacy days in Sacramento, CA August 4-7th. This year we were proud to be joined by our allies Sisterhood Rising. Please enjoy the photos and videos from our experience! Read More

August 1, 2014

"Building Resilience: Q&A With Dr. Tony Iton"

In early June, The California Endowment’s Senior Vice President, Dr. Tony Iton, paid a visit to Merced to meet with youth and community groups. The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities funds community and policy work in Merced and 13 other places in California, including programs like We’Ced. Read More

July 25, 2014

"The Missing Piece for Young Men of Color: Jobs"

by Angela Glover Blackwell

Men and boys of color face an employment crisis. In last month's jobs numbers, unemployment among African-American men was more than twice the rate of white men.Not only do they face higher rates of unemployment, African-American and Latino men are dropping out of the labor force participation at higher rates, too. This staggering unemployment of young men of color is devastating for them, their families, and communities: it is the crux of the problem. Read More

July 15, 2014

"The Invisible Cigarette Burns"

New data from the California Department of Public Health found that more than 60% of Californians have experienced at least one form of childhood trauma, and 25% have experienced three or more.  Childhood trauma is the largest public health crisis in America, and too few people are talking about it. Read More

July 10, 2014

"Changing the Odds for Boys and Men of Color"

by Timothy P. Silard

When the Rosenberg Foundation began investing in criminal justice reform in 2006, we were driven to take action because of the disproportionate impact of incarceration and the lifelong consequences of felony convictions on boys and men of color and low-income communities in California. Read More

July 9, 2014

"PolicyLink CEO Weighs In on My Brother's Keeper Debate"

by Angela Glover Blackwell

As a longtime advocate for equity, inclusion, and social justice, I've become firmly convinced that to achieve universal goals that benefit all sometimes it's necessary to engage in targeted strategies. My Brother's Keeper, a new effort by the Obama Administration to address the unique and particular challenges facing boys and men of color, is just the kind of approach that has the potential to move the needle toward equity for all. Read More

July 8, 2014
"Obama's Plan to Aid Black Men and Boys Will Be a Boon to Other Groups, Too," The Chronicle of Philanthropy
by john a. powell and Maya Rockeymoore

In naming this initiative "My Brother’s Keeper," perhaps the White House is not just asking whether we can help boys and men of color but asking:  Can we really care to help them? Can we come to see them as family, worthy of nurturing, respect, and regard?  Read More

June 26, 2014
"Three Myths Hurting Young Black Men and Boys," Huffington Post
by Mayor Michael Nutter

In America today, there are three myths, three fundamentally misguided beliefs that are hurting our young black men and boys -- bright young people that I have been fortunate to meet in my time as Mayor of Philadelphia. These myths chip away at the opportunities of these young men of color. As a result, we're putting an entire generation at a severe disadvantage and wasting the lives of millions of people who, with reasonable investment, could become vital contributors to our economy and society. Read More

June 19, 2014
"Building a movement for men of color," SF Gate
by Erik Sakamoto

Joshua Clayton, a reporter at Youth Radio, was in his mid-teens when I first met him. He has, in many ways, grown up through the program, starting in our introductory classes and advancing into our fellowship program, which gives youth entry into the digital media and technology workforce. In Clayton's radio commentary, "There Are No Children in Oakland," he candidly brings to light the many struggles that face young men of color growing up in our city. Read More

June 18, 2014
"'Black Women, Like Black Men, Scar': Conversation on My Brother's Keeper Heats Up," The Nation
by Dani McClain

Their letter—which has attracted more than 200 signatures from other black men—draws attention to the folly of excluding girls and women of color from the most visible national racial justice initiative going. It also faults the project for privileging personal responsibility and “up-by-your-bootstraps” rhetoric over holding accountable the institutions that fail black and brown communities, from schools to the criminal justice system to the job market. Read More

June 10, 2014
"Payoffs and Pitfalls of Flagging ‘At-Risk’ Kids in Early Grades," Youth Radio
by Alyson Bryant

More teachers are looking to detailed data to figure out which students are most likely to drop out of high school, long before the kids have even entered ninth grade. Though this flagging system can call attention to a need for additional help to a potential dropout, there may be concerns, like inaccurate predictions, or worse, lowered expectations. Read More

June 6, 2014
"Starting a National Conversation About Boys and Men of Color," Richmond Pulse
by Edgardo Cervano-Soto

It was a monumental moment for President Obama, who for much of his two terms has avoided making race a centerpiece of his political agenda. Read More

June 6, 2014
"The Elusive Specificity of Reparations," The Atlantic
by David Frum

They're not an abstract notion. They're particular amounts of money paid to particular people. To atone for America's sins, whom should the government pay, how much, and why? Read More

June 5, 2014
"Building Resilience Key to Overcoming Childhood Trauma," Huffington Post
by Robert K. Ross

I thought of that old saying as I spoke to inmates at Ironwood Prison at the first-ever TEDx conference to be held inside the walls of a California penitentiary. In a prison gym that was transformed into a conference space to raise awareness about the positive impact of prison education programs, I looked out at an audience of incarcerated men, some in their 20s, some who had been there for decades and some who had no chance of ever regaining their freedom. Read More

May 30, 2014
"Remove Systemic Barriers So Boys and Young Men of Color Can Succeed: President Receives Report from My Brother's Keeper Task Force," Equity Blog
by Angela Glover Blackwell

Earlier today, the Obama administration released My Brother's Keeper Task Force Report to the President providing the nation with an action agenda to improve outcomes for boys and men of color. The Task Force's bold recommendation to tackle the systemic barriers facing one of the nation's most vulnerable populations presents an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate what government can do to set the framework and pace of change. Read More

May 29, 2014
"Community Trauma-Informed Healing Practices: Legislative Briefing on the Importance of Healing Adverse Childhood Experiences," Equity Blog
by Anand Subramanian

The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color hosted a legislative briefing this afternoon on the effectiveness of community healing practices that consider childhood trauma. Read More

May 24, 2014
"End Mass Incarceration Now," New York Times

For more than a decade, researchers across multiple disciplines have been issuing reports on the widespread societal and economic damage caused by America's now-40-year experiment in locking up vast numbers of its citizens. If there is any remaining disagreement about the destructiveness of this experiment, it mirrors the so-called debate over climate change. Read More

May 21, 2014
"The Case for Reparations," The Atlantic
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. Read More

May 20, 2014
"As California Heals, So Should the Nation," Equity Blog
by Ruben Lizardo

Our future prosperity depends on all of our young people having a fair chance to succeed. But too many of our boys and young men of color (primarily African American, Latino, Native American, and Southeast Asian) disproportionately experience failing schools, disconnected neighborhoods, and limited job opportunities. Read More

May 20, 2014
"California, 60 Years After Brown v. Board," Huffington Post
by Angela Glover Blackwell

As the nation celebrates the 1954 Supreme Court landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, California is confronting its own troubling education reality. Read More

May 15, 2014
"Undocumented, Uninsured, and In Debt For Life," Coachella Unincorporated
by Jesus E. Valenzuela-Felix

This is the story of an undocumented farm worker family in Salinas, the Toledanos, which now faces insurmountable medical debt due to being uninsured. Read More

May 14, 2014
"Help Invest in Our Boys and Men of Color," The Greenlining Institute
by Carla Saporta

At the conference we had the honor of hearing from Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-79), who highlighted one of the major barriers to employment for communities of color, and more specifically our boys and men of color: the cradle to prison pipeline and lack of resources to help those who have been released from jail or prison find gainful employment. Read More

May 14, 2014
"In New Documentary, Men Are Out of Jail But Still Imprisoned," Colorlines
by Carla Murphy

"When you send a man home from prison it's like giving somebody a bath and putting dirty clothes back on ‘em", El Sawyer tells me. The 36-year-old filmmaker and Philadelphian spent a decade behind bars before the age of 25 so he knows what he's talking about. With more than 700,000 men and women leaving prisons and jails each year, Sawyer is one of the 25 percent who do not return within five years. Read More

May 13, 2014
"Getting to the Root of Restorative Justice on the Radio," KCET
by Citlalli Chávez

How do you define restorative justice? This question is commonly being asked throughout Boyle Heights, and was the inspiration for the Restorative Justice Pilot Radio Project (RJPR), which took place from October 2013 to April 2014. Students from Boyle Heights high schools, along with artist Omar Ramirez, helped launch this pilot initiative, getting to the root of Restorative Justice by asking each other and members of their community about the subject. Read More

May 13, 2014
"Race, Disability and the School-to-Prison Pipeline," Colorlines
by Julianne Hing

Our series "Life Cycles of Inequity" explores the ways in which inequity impacts the lives of black men. Each month, we focus on a life stage or event in which that impact has been shown to be particularly profound. This article is part of a package focused on implicit bias in schools. Read More

May 12, 2014
"Marginalized On Campus, Black High School Students and Parents Organize," Richmond Pulse

In his first couple years of high school, James Eastland was involved in a gang. He was getting into trouble, and his poor grades sent a clear message: he was suffering. But all of that turned around when he joined the Male Academy in his junior year. Read More

May 12, 2014
"L.A. schools' health effort should expand," Los Angeles Daily News
by Monica Garcia, Beatriz Maria Solis and Maria Brenes

Schools have long served as trusted and safe places for community and families to gather. In addition to being places where parents entrust their children for education, schools have inherent connections to communities as parent centers, polling places, and venues for town halls and other gatherings. Read More

May 12, 2014
"The Inhumanity of the Death Penalty," The Atlantic
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In America, the history of the criminal justice—and of executions—is inseparable from white supremacy. Read More

May 8, 2014
"Double charged: The true cost of juvenile justice,"
by Myles Bess

Standing in the hallway outside a hearing room at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, you see benches filled with teenagers and their families--waiting to appear in court-- many dressed up in button down shirts and ties, looking their Sunday best. There are a lot of moms, too, and little brothers and sisters who'd clearly rather be elsewhere. Read More

May 7, 2014
"Charles Lane: Reaching a verdict on the era of mass incarceration," The Washington Post
by Charles Lane

Though the U.S. prison population of 1.5 million in 2012 was far larger than that of any other country, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of population, the era of ever-increasing "mass incarceration" is ending. Read More

May 7, 2014
"Youth Unsure If Latino Or Black Mayor Will Bring Change To LB," Voicewaves
by Michelle Zenarosa

No matter who wins on June 3, for the first time since the 1980s in Long Beach the mayor will not be Caucasian. In a city that is a majority "minority", with over 41 percent Latino, would a gay Latino mayor or an African-American mayor make a difference? Young people in Long Beach think it might, but they aren't so sure. Check out their responses. Read More

May 5, 2014
"Garden Pathways' New 'Sons and Brothers Initiative' Treats Emotional Health Needs of Young Men of Color," South Kern Sol
by Alfredo Camacho

Garden Pathways works with boys and men of color, who are at risk of being expelled from school, on their mental and emotional health. Read More

May 3, 2014
"Male Academy In Schools Foster Relationships & Improve Grad Rates," Voicewaves

In his first couple years of high school, James Eastland was involved in a gang. He was getting into trouble, and his poor grades sent a clear message: he was suffering. But all of that turned around when he joined the Male Academy in his junior year. Read More

April 30, 2014
"Health Happens Here Hero of the Month: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver", Huffington Post
by Robert Ross

This week, NBA Commissioner  Adam Silver restored our faith in the notions of human dignity, respect, humanity and accountability. Read more

April 29, 2014
"I will Not Let My Past Determine My Future," Equity Blog
by Jesse Esparza

My name is Jesse Esparza and I’m from Stockton, California, where murder rates are high and incarceration has been my expertise. A place where I lost my dad to the system, a place where I lost my cousin to homicide, a place that took my little sister’s freedom, a place that took my closest friend’s life, a place of poverty, but most importantly, a place I call home. Read More

April 28, 2014
"The Fight for Black Men and Boys: What's trauma got to do with it?," Huffington Post
by Diana Aubourg Millner

There is a growing movement to address the needs of black boys and young men, and with good reason. Irrespective of geography or social standing, American black boys and young men fare much worse than their white and Hispanic peers on all major indicators of well-being. Read more

April 28, 2014
"Donald Sterling: Why Are We Still Surprised by Racism?," The Greenlining Institute
by Bruce Mirken

Once again a public figure has made disgusting, racist comments and people are shocked, just shocked. Prominent folks from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to President Obama have weighed in. Read more

April 25, 2014
"Wanted: Disgruntled Asian-Americans to Attack Affirmative Action," Colorlines
by Julianne Hing

How do you know when you're a pawn in someone else's political game? Asian-Americans may soon be asking themselves that question. Read more

April 23, 2014
"Justice Sotomayor's Beautiful Schuette Dissent: 'Race Matters'," New York Times
by Julianne Hing

In a fiery and incisive 58-page dissent that was longer than the combined rulings and responses of all her other colleagues, Sotomayor took her colleagues to task over their eagerness to part ways with 30-year-old legal precedents; their willful ignorance about the realities of race and racism; and their refusal to acknowledge that race continues to be a central force shaping the lives and opportunities of people in the U.S. Read More

April 23, 2014
"Summit Aims to Educate, Activate Richmond Youth," Richmond Pulse

On Saturday, April 19, while many adults and families from the Richmond community were gathering at Point Molate Beach for the grand re-opening, young people of the city gathered for the 2014 Richmond Youth Summit. Read More

April 21, 2014
VIDEO: Tribeca Film Fest: 'True Son,' Huffington Post
by Ahmed Shihab-Eldin

Born and raised in crime-ridden Stockton, California, Michael Tubbs became a city councilman at age 22 and has worked to bring his California community back from bankruptcy. He's the subject of "True Son," and joins us with the director Kevin Gordon.

April 21, 2014
"President Obama Could Grant Clemency To Thousands Of Non-Violent Drug Offenders," ThinkProgress
by Nicole Flatow

"I take my clemency authority very seriously", President Obama reportedly told a group of U.S. attorneys at a meeting last month at the White House. You wouldn't know it from his record thus far. While he has recently seem a new spurt of activity, granting commutations to eight drug offenders, and another last week who received a longer sentence by accident, he nonetheless has the worst record of granting presidential mercy to those in prison of any president in modern history.

April 20, 2014
"The Next Juvenile Justice Reform," New York Times

Research has long shown that locking up young people puts them at greater risk of dropping out of school, joining the unemployment line and becoming permanently entangled in the criminal justice system. Read More

April 17, 2014
"Former Prisoner Grows Hope, Trees, for Richmond," Richmond Pulse
by Edgardo Cervano-Soto

The Tree, Seed & Veggie Giveaway on April 5 was the fifth time that Self Sustaining Communities, a Richmond nonprofit that promotes locally grown food, has distributed hundreds of fruit, nut, and olive trees to Richmond families and other local gardeners. Read More

April 14, 2014
"I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway," The Atlantic
by Doug Glanville

A retired Major League Baseball player explains how he's trying to turn an upsetting encounter with the police into an opportunity for dialogue. Read More

April 13, 2014
"Echoes of the Superpredator," New York Times

Remember "superpredators"? Nearly 20 years ago, they prowled into the American consciousness — a menacing new breed of children, born of crack-addled mothers and absent fathers, and programmed solely for murder and mayhem. Read More

April 11, 2014
"Community Organizations Join Forces Against Harsh School Discipline," South Kern Sol
by Dean Welliver

Despite recent success by Kern High School District in lowering the number of student expulsions, parents and community leaders say the district's school discipline practices are still a big problem. Read More

April 10, 2014
"My Brother's Keeper: One Motivation, Two Perspectives," US Dept. of Health & Human Services
By George L. Askew, MD, FAAP, Chief Medical Officer and Kevin Powell, Health Policy Intern

Why are men of color at such great risk? The reasons for these health disparities are not directly related to race and ethnicity. Instead, low income, lack of access to care, language and cultural differences, and other barriers often make good health harder to achieve. That is why we are both so pleased that President Obama  launched My Brother's Keeper—a new initiative with leading foundations and businesses that will take a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color. Read More

April 8, 2014
"7 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About Young African-American Men," PolicyMic
by Antwaun Sargent

Last week Long Island teenager Kwasi Enin captured national headlines after becoming part of an impressive club: high school seniors who have been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools.  Read More

April 1, 2014
"Letter to the Youth, From Prison," Richmond Pulse
by Asani Shakur

I am currently writing you from a federal prison cell — because I care about you and your future. I'm not sure what you may have been told about prison life, but allow me to provide you with some facts about this caged world.  Read More

April 2014
"PODCAST: What is 'Everyday Courage'?," AccessLocal.TV
by Isaac Gonzalez 

This week, the Correspondents talk about "Everyday Courage", and how people are affected by the stressors in our lives and why it's important to deal with them in a proactive way. Read More

March 20, 2014
"New Name, Same Mission for Oakland Youth Court," Youth Radio
by Darelle Brown

Youth Radio's Darelle Brown got a chance to sit down and talk with  Darren White, Program Manager at Centerforce, about the organization's achievements and how a youth can obtain their services. Read More

March 29, 2014
"Youth Unemployment: Why Sacramento Needs to Invest in its Teenagers," AccessLocal.TV
by Adriana Gomez

It's March, and for many teenagers this means two things: college admissions decisions start flooding the inbox, and summer work is just on the horizon. For many, these two things are not mutually exclusive. There are many students in Sacramento who have to work to pay for their higher education. But how are they supposed to find work when Sacramento's youth job market is so unwelcoming? Read More

March 28, 2014
"Magon: Chavez Film Shows Human Side of Farm Worker Movement," Coachella Unincorporated
by Coachella Unincorporated

"César Chávez: An American Hero" opens in theaters today, bringing to the big screen the story of the beginning of the United Farm Workers. Read More

March 27, 2014
VIDEO: Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color Hearing on Local Control Funding Formula

March 27, 2014
"Piecemeal Immigration Reform Leaves Student Better Off For Now," Youth Radio
by Luz Elena Hernandez

Sitting in my room I remember feeling so frustrated because I was born in another country. A place I don't remember and haven't visited since I was two. Because I don't have legal status, I couldn't do even the simplest things that my friends could do. I had never been able to find a job that paid me at least minimum wage. FAFSA and Pell Grants were not an option. Plus, I had a never ending fear of getting my life taken away from me. Read More

March 25, 2014
"The Economic Truth About the ‘Model Minority'," Colorlines
by Imara Jones

Unfairly labeled as an economic superclass, the truth is that there are vast disparities in economic well-being across the spectrum of Asian-Americans. Read More

March 18, 2014
"The Secret Lives of Inner-City Black Males," The Atlantic
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Paul Ryan's explanation for urban poverty isn't much different from Barack Obama's. Why did it make liberals so angry? Read More

March 11, 2014
"Q&A: After Trauma, Learning How to Heal," Richmond Pulse

With emotional trauma afflicting an estimated 75 percent of children in the U.S. juvenile justice system, the Sierra Health Foundation recently launched the Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI), a grant initiative that aims to encourage a "trauma-informed" approach to working with youth in custody. The initiative will direct grant dollars towards establishing key youth development practices, primarily in probation departments, in Alameda, San Diego, San Joaquin, and Solano counties. Read More

March 9, 2014
"Payton: My Brother's Keeper could bolster Oakland's boys and men of color," Contra Costa Times
by Brenda Payton

"Are you talking about you?" President Barack Obama quoted the reaction of a young African-American man at the recent announcement of the My Brother's Keeper Initiative. Read More

March 6, 2014
"Why Being My Brother's Keeper Matters," Huffington Post
by Gov. Deval Patrick

As a black man, my heart aches over the disproportionate numbers of men and boys of color left back by schools, left out of jobs and caught up in crime. As a black public official, I am struck by how little appetite there seems to be among law makers to deal with the root causes of this. So, I am encouraged by President Obama's leadership in his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative. Read More

March 5, 2014
"Restorative justice convening educates on the power of healing versus punishment," Boyle Heights Beat
by Jonathan Olivares

The sound of a beating drum and a strumming guitar filled the walls of the auditorium at Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School last Saturday as students huddled around voices singing lyrics about restorative justice. Read More

March 5, 2014
"Focusing On Young Men Of Color Will Benefit The Nation", Youth Radio
by Darelle Brown

President Obama just recently announced a new initiative called My Brother's Keeper. The idea of the initiative is to focus on primarily the kids in low-income communities that struggle with staying in school, and are more likely to end up in jail. Read More

March 5, 2014
"For Black And Latino Americans, A Glass Mysteriously Half-Full," NPR
by Gene Demby

Over the last few years an unusual phenomenon has kept popping up in public opinion surveys: Blacks and Latinos have become much more sanguine about the country's prospects as white folks have become more pessimistic. It's a stark reversal of decades of data in which white folks were almost always more optimistic. Read More

March 5, 2014
"Race and Beyond: A Presidential Effort to Help Black and Latino Youth," Center for American Progress
By Sam Fulwood III

Recognizing the limitations of his office and the political realities of a gridlocked Washington establishment, President Barack Obama called upon groups that operate beyond the Beltway—private businesses, philanthropic foundations, and community groups—to join him in raising awareness and money to improve the life opportunities for disadvantaged black and Latino boys. Read More

March 5, 2014
"What Do You Make of the New Chevron Billboards? Richmond Youth Weigh In," Richmond Pulse

March 5, 2014
"President Obama Extends a Hand to Young Men and Boys of Color. What About Girls?," The Nation
by Dani McClain

Like their male counterparts, black and Latina girls and young women suffer from striking racial disparities in education and income. Read More

March 5, 2014
"Why Can't We Talk About Race?," Vitae
Noliwe Rooks

Last November Shannon Gibney, a professor of English and African-diaspora studies at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, was formally reprimanded for making three white male students in her class uncomfortable during a conversation about contemporary instances of structural racism. Read More

February 28, 2014
"How To Be A Good Trans Youth Ally: Tips From An LB Youth," Voicewaves

Many agree that the teenage years are rife with adults telling us that they are not yet prepared to have autonomy over our own lives, bodies and choices, but for transgender teens, this treatment can be even more detrimental.  It can be overwhelming when it seems like no one believes you are capable of understanding even the most basic realities about yourself. Read More

February 26, 2014
"PODCAST: sacposé – Why are some neighborhoods ignored by the police?,"AccessLocal.Tv

This week on sacposé, the Neighborhood News Correspondents ask one another why some neighborhoods are seemingly written off by the police as "unfixable", while other neighborhoods receive overwhelming police support. Take a listen and then share your comments in the space below. Read More

February 20, 2014
"‘Dream Fund' Making College More Attainable for Undocumented Students," South Kern Sol

Erika Hernandez was ecstatic when she found out she'd been accepted to UC Berkeley in the spring of 2008. But when the time came for Hernandez, who is undocumented, to secure her spot, she let the deadline pass. Her parents, both farm workers, couldn't afford the college tuition, which was about $32,000 a year. Read More

February 12, 2014
"One Solution To Diversity Problem In AP Computer Science," Youth Radio
by Rafael Johns

Everyone deserves an education. This is something almost everyone in America is in agreement about. Do we let people of color and women, two often marginalized groups, fall behind in a field that will be incredibly important in the global future? Read More

February 6, 2014
"Teens Present Solutions To End Youth Violence," Voicewaves

At the core of public safety and violence is addressing the role of young people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24. In addition, nineteen of the 32 homicides last year were gang-related. VoiceWaves asked some of our new teen reporters what they thought would help prevent youth-driven violence in Long Beach. Read More

February 6, 2014
"Garden Pathways Helps Youth Turn their Lives Around After Confinement," South Kern Sol

For many, his goal to maintain employment might seem like a routine part of life, but for Diarte and others like him, life has been anything but routine. He's one of millions of formerly incarcerated people struggling to overcome a lifetime of adversity and adjust to a life free of the turbulence that they have become accustomed to. Read More

February 4, 2014
"My Black Experience: Walking On Eggshells To Walk A Straight Line," Youth Radio
by Darelle Brown

Growing up as a young, black male in America is not very easy. I often find myself smiling more whenever I'm engaging into conversations with white upper-class people, so they won't feel threatened by my presence. There have been times when I was walking down the street, and I heard car doors lock. Or times when I've told someone good morning, but they put their head down, tucked in their purse, and sped up. These experiences make me feel less like myself, and more like a monster, and that hurts. Read More

February 4, 2014
"Bieber: Affluenza Strikes Again," Coachella Unincorporated

In 2013, the United States deported 368,644 undocumented people — many of whom I believe came to this country in search of a better life and to do the work most Americans won't. But some of these were people who committed crimes. Bieber hasn't been convicted of anything, and with his resources, there is a good chance he will not do any time. Read More

February 4, 2014
"State-Funded Medi-Cal: "A Godsend" for Eligible DACA Recipients," South Kern Sol

Daniel Jimenez, a 22-year-old Cal State Bakersfield student, has been depending on medicine that his aunt brings from Mexico. But he no longer needs to because he's now a DACA recipient (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and meets all the guidelines for the expanded, state-funded low-income health insurance program, which launched on January 1. Read More

February 3, 2014
"News: Dr. Robert K. Ross Is an ICON MANN of Change,"

Dr. Robert Ross discusses his inspirations and accountability. Read More

February 3, 2014
"When Loud Music Turned Deadly," NYT
By Orlando Bagwell

This video tells the story of a black teenager in Florida who was killed by a white man after an argument over loud music. The slain youth’s father shares his loss. Read More

January 22, 2014
"Time to Suspend Zero-Tolerance School Discipline,"

Los Angeles Has Tried Get-Tough Approaches Toward Classroom Misbehavior. What Might Work Better? Read More

January 14, 2014
"Richard Sherman Race and Coded Language," We'Ced

Following the NFC Championship on January 19th, where the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers, much attention was paid to Richard Sherman, a player from Seattle. A brief but passionate post-game interview with Sherman became national news. Framed as an angry rant, the continued usage of the word ‘thug' to describe Sherman racialized the conversation. Read More

January 14, 2014
"Meet Matthew Pimentel," Redwood Voice
by Makenzy Williams

"Nobody really cares" seems to be a mantra among the young people of this town, but let me prove you wrong. Meet Matthew Pimentel, in his first year at College of the Redwoods, and already motivated and dedicated to both his studies and extra curriculars. So much so, in fact, that he is the driving force for the formation of two clubs at the college: a chapter of the Boys and Young Men of Color (BMoC) organization, and a literary writing club. Read More

January 14, 2014
"What Our Schools Need -- A Student's Eye View," New America Media

I am a senior at Golden Valley high school, and I ask for only one simple thing - clean, drinkable water. When we turn on our water fountains to take a drink of water we expect to be drinking clean pure water. However, that is not the case at Golden Valley high school. Recently the students of Golden Valley High School received a letter from the Kern High School District informing them that their drinking water is contaminated with arsenic. Read More

January 13, 2014
"Interview: The Financial Impact Of Youth Unemployment," Youth Radio
by Darelle Brown

In a recent study, Young Invincibles quantified the cost of America's current youth unemployment situation and calculated its effect on the economy. According to the national youth policy and advocacy organization's press release",On average, one unemployed 18-24 year old will  cost his or her federal and state government over $4,100 annually in forgone tax revenue paid and safety net benefits paid out." Read More

October 16, 2013
"Oakland activist helps troubled young men heal from trauma," Contra Costa Times
by Matt O'Brien

It might seem strange, to those with a dim view of them, to witness young men with gang affiliations and juvenile records gathered in a ceremonial circle and disclosing their deepest regrets. But for George Galvis, this is the way people are supposed to resolve their problems. Everyone, he said, wants their voices heard. Read More

VIDEO: Assembly Public Safety Committee Hearing on HR 23