About Urban Strategies Council

Our mission is to eliminate persistent poverty by working with partners to transform low-income neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy communities

Boys and Men of Color Initiative

The Urban Strategies Council is working to support our public systems and community partners to build a local, regional and statewide network of organizations and individuals committed to improving outcomes for Boys and Men of Color through effective programs and services, policy advocacy and systems reform. We are committed to improving health, education, employment and justice system outcomes of boys and young men of color.

Our work, as outlined below, includes: the Oakland-Alameda County Alliance for Boys and Men of Color serving as leadership table for public and nonprofit organizations, the Aspen Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund focusing on increasing education and career employment, the African American Male Achievement Initiative pioneering public institutional commitment to improving educational outcomes, and our statewide work with the California Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color focusing on statewide policy and legislation to improve outcomes.


Oakland-Alameda County Alliance for Boys and Men of Color

The Boys and Men of Color work in Oakland includes convening Oakland and Alameda County public systems and non-profit leaders to develop their support and an action agenda for working together to achieve the goals of the Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) Initiative in education, health and employment.


Aspen Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund

One of the priority areas of work for the Oakland-Alameda Alliance for Boys and Men of Color is improving education, training and career employment opportunities for Men of Color. In June of 2013, the Alliance was selected as one of 21 sites nationwide to participate in Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund. The focus of the Aspen Initiative is to connect 16-24 year olds who are not attending school or working to education and training leading to family sustaining career employment in the growth sectors of the East Bay economy. To learn more about our efforts, see the link below


African American Male Achievement Initiative

In late 2010, the Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) asked the Council to partner with OUSD and the East Bay Community Foundation in developing the African American Male Achievement Initiative (AAMAI) which aims to improve outcomes for young Black males in Oakland by addressing the areas of literacy, suspension, and graduation rates, among others, where significant differences exist between African American male students and their peers. In addition to developing and tracking key indicators to help OUSD gauge progress, the Council released three major reports in 2012 exploring disparities in suspensions, chronic absence, and factors that impact students’ trajectory toward high school graduation. Calling attention to areas where outcomes for African American male students are particularly poor, the reports contained data and policy analysis along with recommendations.

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California Alliance for Boys and Men of Color

: The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color includes change agents from across the state of California who are committed to improving the life chances of California's boys and young men of color. The Alliance includes youth, community organizations, foundations, and systems leaders from education, public health, law enforcement and economic development. The Alliance is active at the local and state levels, with a particular focus on Oakland, Los Angeles, and Fresno.

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Assembly Select Committee

Recognizing the importance of the success of boys and men to the health and well being of all California residents, the Assembly Speaker appointed a Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color in California in 2011 and selected Oakland Assembly Member Sandre Swanson as the Chair. Urban Strategies Council and members of the Oakland-Alameda County Alliance for Boys and Men of Color worked with the Select Committee and BMoC partners around the state to convene regional hearings and culminating in a Sacramento hearing in July 2012. In 2012, the Speaker continued the Select Committee. For information on the regional hearing in Oakland and the ongoing work of the Select Committee, see the link below.

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Follow the conversation: #CAFuture, #malesofcolor

For more information contact Calvin Williams, Program Coordinator, Urban Strategies Council at (510) 893‐1379 or calvinw(at)urbanstrategies.org


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