With support from the Open Society Foundations' Campaign for Black Male Achievement, the YEF Institute has launched a new, 16-month technical assistance initiative focused on improving education, work and family outcomes for black men and boys.
The YEF Institute has received support from the Open Society Institute (OSI) to engage municipal leaders in OSI's Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a multi-issue, cross-fund strategy to address black men and boys' exclusion from economic, social, educational, and political life in the United States. As part of the Campaign, the YEF Institute's Municipal Leadership for Black Male Achievement initiative will strengthen municipal leaders' capacity to improve outcomes for young black males in the areas of education, work and family.
In June 2009, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and U.S. Department of Labor, the YEF Institute selected 12 cities to participate in a learning community focused on using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to strengthen local youth employment efforts. The cities of Dubuque, Iowa; Manchester, Conn.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Tucson, Ariz., were selected to receive additional technical assistance in connecting older youth to employment opportunities and helping them attain educational certifications.
Striving to help cities reduce dropout rates and improve students' educational outcomes, the YEF Institute, along with its partners in the Association for High School Innovation (AHSI) network and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, worked intensively with the cities of Indianapolis, Nashville, and Newark to establish new innovation-model alternative schools for students who struggle in traditional high school settings.
The YEF Institute and the American Youth Policy Forum, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, planned a series of workshops and field trips to help local leaders learn about exemplary efforts to reach struggling students and out-of-school youth and expanding options and alternatives for high school-aged young people. The field trips were planned as part of Phase III of the Municipal Leadership for Disconnected Youth initiative.
NLC and the Oakland-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) have initiated a network of 13 major cities in California to combat gang violence and victimization. The California Cities Gang Prevention Network, the first of its kind in the nation, focuses on successful policies and practices that interweave prevention, intervention, enforcement and a community's "moral voice" as an alternative to prison-only solutions.
With support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the YEF Institute worked with six cities - Denver; Hartford, Conn.; Newark, N.J.; Orlando, Fla.; Roanoke, Va.; and St. Louis - to help municipal leaders reengage disconnected youth through cross-system collaboration.
This intensive, two-year technical assistance project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation helped the cities of Corpus Christi, Texas, Hartford, Conn., Phoenix, Ariz., San Antonio, Texas, and San Jose, Calif., expand options and alternatives for students who struggle in traditional high school settings. Lessons learned from cities' experiences are documented in a report on Expanding Options: City Roles in Creating High School Alternatives for Struggling Students.
In partnership with the National Transitional Jobs Network, the Center for Employment Opportunities, and the Transitional Work Corporation, the YEF Institute helped seven cities design transitional jobs programs. The project was funded by the Joyce Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts.
Supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, this project helped 10 cities establish transitional jobs programs for hard-to-employ individuals. Lessons from these cities' initiatives are available in the YEF Institute report below.