In August 2013, the board of the California Endowment approved a seven-year, $50 million investment in Sons & Brothers, to close the health gap for boys and young men of color, as part of its Building Healthy Communities strategy. This case study explores the first years of this work and the contributions made by the Endowment to support a statewide movement around boys and young men of color.
- In its role as convener, the Endowment engaged state and local actors around a common boys and young men of color agenda, enabling organizations to recognize the interrelationship of the various issues they address.
- It was important to the Endowment that there be an independent platform to unite state and local actors for collective action; what emerged is the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color.
- As the Alliance was taking shape, another effort was underway by a bipartisan group of state legislators, the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. Partnering with these systems leaders, as well as local public officials, created strategic opportunities.
- Efforts to integrate the goals of Sons & Brothers with those of the Endowment's Building Healthy Communities strategy have been challenging, but intentional coordination led to early success with several school discipline bills signed into law by the governor.
- Youth are central to Sons & Brothers, and the Endowment has funded youth leadership development and has provided platforms for their voices to be heard by foundation and community leaders and policymakers. This, in turn, is changing the narrative and how youth of color are perceived.