Last week at The California Endowment in Los Angeles, the BMOC (Boys and Young Men of Color – A Research Project of the Warren Institute) hosted a policy symposium that focused on issues concerning boys and young men of color. The event, titled: Building Healthy Communities: Improving Educational, Health, Social, and Economic Outcomes for Young Men and Boys of Color, had a public policy focus on young men and boys of color as a strategy to develop a plan for equitable, sustainable, healthy communities in California and across the nation.
Several community based organizations, community activist, and high school students from across the country participated. Christopher Edley, Chair and Dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, served as the moderator and did a great job of giving attendees an opportunity to speak and express their concerns and receive feedback from panelist. The most inspiring part of the Q & A sessions was that the number of young men wanting to step forward and talk about issues affecting them and their peers. Many of these students were proud residents of Oakland, CA and they were not intimated by the names, titles, or number of degrees before them, but rather more interested in talking directly to those who are in a position of power to help better the economical, educational, and social outcomes of their community. These conversations definitely got the ball rolling for some of the workshops and presenters that touched on such topics as Building Stronger Pathways to Economic Opportunity for Young Men and Boys of Color, Postsecondary Access and Success for Young Men and Boys of Color, and Supporting Young Men and Boys of Color in the Philanthropic Sphere.
The conference was an overall success. To be around so many individuals of various backgrounds all focused on issues of young men of color was a great experience and I look forward to see what develops from this.
photo source: http://www.boysandmenofcolor.org/