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Black and Latino boys and young men are a critical asset to Boston’s future. How can Boston strengthen, connect, and accelerate work happening on the ground to improve education, employment, and other key life outcomes for this growing demographic?

Mapping Momentum for Boston's Youth: Programs & Opportunities for Black and Latino Young Men

Root Cause mapped 142 organizations collectively serving more than 40,000 Black and Latino boys and young men in Boston through direct service and advocacy. Together, they are on track to serve 44,000 by 2016. These organizations give Boston tremendous potential to not only improve life outcomes of Black and Latino boys and young men, but also strengthen the city and position it as a model for other major urban centers.

There is a strong momentum in Boston to ensure that Black and Latino boys and young men—who represent more than half of Boston’s males age 24 and under—have the opportunity to succeed and achieve their full potential. They are an important, concentrated population in the city, with 72 percent of Black and Latino young men 25 and under currently living in just eight of Boston’s 23 neighborhoods. 

Black and Latino boys and young men face unique structural challenges and unequal opportunity throughout their lives. Despite more than $14 billion in direct and indirect investment from the public and philanthropic sectors over the last decade, life outcomes for this demographic remain relatively stagnant in categories such as reading and math proficiency, attainment of a high school diploma, and employment. To combat these trends, stakeholders from across sectors can build on the city’s existing assets to strategically coordinate programs working in communities, city agencies, and philanthropic organizations that serve Black and Latino boys and young men. 

Root Cause, My Brother’s Keeper’s Boston and the City of Boston Mayor's office, the Boston Black & Latino Collaborative, and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement partnered to map and assess the landscape of local organizations working to improve life outcomes of Black and Latino boys and young men. The report found that an absence of efforts to coordinate service providers and advocacy organizations in neighborhoods where most of Boston's Black and Latino young men live is a missed opportunity to prepare these communities to fulfill their role in a growing local economy. Nearly 90% of organizations report serving Black and Latino boys and young men either directly or indirectly while far fewer, approximately half, actually focus on and consider the unique needs of this demographic.  

To address these challenges, the Mapping Momentum report outlines a set of strategic priorities and action steps, which include: ensuring a deliberate, shared focus on Black and Latino boys and young men; investing in and strengthening the capacity of existing organizations to deliver results; and optimizing the program mix and strategic coordination around common target life outcomes in the neighborhoods home to most of Boston’s Black and Latino boys and young men. 

Download the report to:  

  • Learn about the 142 organizations working to improve the life outcomes of Black and Latino boys and young men across Boston
  • Understand these organization’s internal capacity for doing their work effectively
  • Take action by helping to advance the recommended strategic priorities for those in the public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors. 
To download the Executive Summary, click here
To download the full report, click here.

Mapping Momentum for Boston's Youth

Andrew Wolk and James Jennings 2016