City Leadership to Promote Black Achievement Agenda

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In 2008, the Open Society Foundation launched the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, which aims to create hope and opportunity for black men and boys who are marginalized from economic, social, educational and political life in the United States.

In 2011 National League of Cities' (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) with support from the Open Society Foundation's Campaign for Black Male Achievement published a municipal action guide that highlights potential strategies and promising city approaches for reducing the persistent disparities between black males and their peers in the areas of education, work and family.

The guide presented a wide range of action steps that city leaders can take to reduce racial and gender inequalities in three areas: strengthening families, improving educational achievement and expanding access to family-supporting employment opportunities.

Phase II
In 2013, NLC selected 11 cities from a pool of 28 applicants to receive assistance as they work to reduce disparities between black males and their peers.

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- Charlottesville, Va.       - Chicago, Ill.
- Fort Wayne, Ind.          - Jacksonville, Fla.
- Louisville, Ky.               - Milwaukee, Wis. 
- Oakland, Calif.             - Omaha, Neb.
- Orlando, Fla.                - Philadelphia, Pa.
- Portland, Ore.

The 11 cities pledged to improve life outcomes of black men and boys by forming strong local partnerships; using data more effectively; developing comprehensive strategies focused on education, employment, family strengthening, and violence prevention; and engaging young black men and boys in civically.

Phase III
In 2015, NLC provided more in-depth assistance to a cohort of six BMA cities to adopt/implement policies and authentically engage black men and boys.

Image removed.- Charlottesville, Va.       - Fort Wayne, Ind.
- Milwaukee, Wis.           - Omaha, Neb.
- Orlando, Fla.                - Portland, Ore.

The three policy areas the cohort committed to taking action on in were "Ban the Box", "Local/Targeted Hiring", and "Fair School Discipline Codes."

Beyond the technical assistance initiative, BMA cities served in a leadership capacity for other cities across the national to share best practices on aligning MBK, CU, and BMA initiatives and increasing the engagement of black men and boys.

Finally, NLC documented relevant BMA city policies/strategies, successes, and opportunities to share nationally with city leaders.