This report documents the many challenges facing our young boys of color, challenges that if left unaddressed, imperil their successful entry into adulthood and their ability to be flourishing, productive members of our community. However, it is also clear that such research does not fully capture the experience of all boys of color in our community. Indeed, there are contexts in which our young boys of color are thriving, where others have
high expectations for them, and the boys themselves feel confident and capable. While the data and research we review this year are extremely challenging, this should be a call to action for our community.
As a community, we have some programs that are successfully placing boys of color on a path to success. We have begun to tackle racial disparities in infant mortality, changing the trajectory of at-risk children in our highest infant mortality neighborhoods before they are born by intervening with mothers and environments to support healthy delivery and development. We have also answered the call to be My Brother’s Keeper through a city wide initiative and a Franklin County pilot program.
The Ohio State University’s Todd Bell Center for the African American Male is a nationally recognized organization for producing academic success for college-aged Black males. These important interventions provide great models, but as a community we must do more to expand and invest in our interventions.