Frank Farrow appointed Executive Director of Mayor’s Office for Black Male Advancement
Mayor Michelle Wu announced today that Frank Farrow will serve as the Executive Director of the newly formed Mayor’s Office for Black Male Advancement. In this role, Farrow will lead the Office for Black Male Advancement that seeks to ensure Black men and boys have support to thrive and share in our City’s prosperity. The office will reside in the Equity and Inclusion Cabinet. Mayor Wu also announced that the Black Men and Boys Commission will be accepting new member applications through the end of February.
“I’m excited for Frank’s leadership in ensuring that our City’s policies and programs are truly connected with and supporting Black men and boys across each of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am grateful to Councilor Mejia, former Councilor Tito Jackson, and so many community advocates for their work to establish the Black Men & Boys commission. As we work to make Boston a city for everyone, I encourage passionate, dedicated individuals to apply to serve on this critical commission.”
The Mayor’s Office for Black Male Advancement will work to improve outcomes and reduce systemic barriers to advancement for Black men and boys living in the City of Boston. The office will empower Black men and boys and ensure they have equitable access to opportunities through the concentration of policy, programs, resources, and local and national partnerships. The Office for Black Male Advancement will direct and support the efforts of the newly-formed Black Men and Boys Commission.
Born and raised in Roxbury, Frank Farrow brings years of community engagement and management experience to the Mayor’s Office for Black Male Advancement. Recently, Farrow served on Mayor Wu’s campaign as the Roxbury Organizing Director, where he built a grassroots field operation that engaged and mobilized Boston’s diverse communities. Previously, Farrow was the Family Organizing Director at School Facts Boston, collaboratively engaging with over 1,600 families to foster dialogue and advocate on important issues to improve education for all in Boston.
“I am honored and excited to lead the Office for Black Male Advancement, and to continue to uplift Black men and boys under Mayor Michelle Wu’s administration,” said Frank Farrow. “As a Boston native, I understand the persistent social and economic inequities facing Black people. I look forward to the opportunity of working with the Black Men and Boys Commission to ensure that the City’s policies, programs and resources align with the Mayor’s bold vision for a more equitable Boston.”
In 2012, Farrow founded Elevate Boston Foundation, which focuses on improving economic, education, criminal justice and health outcomes of youth and families living in communities of color throughout Boston. In response to COVID-19, Farrow spearheaded the Foodcare Boston initiative in partnership with community based organizations, distributing food, toiletries, PPE and other necessities to 1,000 predominantly Black families in need weekly throughout the pandemic. Farrow also advocated for racial justice reform and proposed legislation establishing a permanent commission on the social status of Black men and boys in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Frank Farrow enjoys spending time with his wife, Christelle, and their sons, Christian and Kingston.
“For years, our communities have worked very hard to be recognized and prioritized in policies and services,” said Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity & Inclusion. “This is our opportunity to amplify the work that so many have championed. I am excited to see how Frank, along with the Commission on Black Men and Boys, will build thoughtful policy and coalitions that positively impact the diverse community of Black men and boys.”
The Black Men and Boys Commission was recently established through a 2021 ordinance sponsored by City Councilor At-Large Julia Mejia and signed by former Mayor Kim Janey. A similar commission was first proposed in 2014 by former District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson, which received support from the City Council.
The Commission will be housed within the Mayor’s Office For Black Male Advancement and consist of 21 members. The Mayor will appoint seven members who are experts on issues facing Black men and boys in Boston, seven members from fourteen nominees with experience or knowledge on issues facing Black men and boys in Boston submitted by the City Council, and seven members from a pool of applicants with experience or knowledge on issues facing Black men and boys in Boston. The members of this Commission will include seven members who will serve two-year terms, seven members who will serve three-year terms, and seven members who will serve four-year terms. One two-year term member and one three-year member shall be youth members.
The Duties of the Commission shall include but are not limited to:
- Advising the Mayor on issues pertaining to Black men and boys
- Assisting the Office of the Mayor in determining budget and policy priorities
- Monitoring and advising City agencies and departments on issues pertaining to Black men and boys
- Designing projects and programs that promote equity for Black men and boys which are not currently being implemented by existing City agencies
- Performing outreach, communication, and liaison to Black men and boys related to community groups and organizations
- Working with the Department of Intergovernmental Relations concerning state and federal legislation and programs that are of concern to Black men and boys
- Working with the Office of Civil Rights to assure that Black men and boys are represented at all levels of City government
- Coordinating dialogues and action on behalf of City government to issues of concern to Black men and boys and related organizations, including but not limited to: concerns related to national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity, mental, physical, and sexual health, violence prevention, employment, and more
- During the first year of its existence, the Commission shall hold monthly meetings, give updates to the City Council on a quarterly basis, and produce an annual report
- After the first year of its existence, the Commission shall produce an annual report
"It's time for us as a city to think intentionally about the policies and programs that impact Black men and boys on a daily basis," said Councilor Julia Mejia, who sponsored the ordinance to establish a Commission on Black Men and Boys in the Council. "We are hopeful that the application process for Commissioners will bring in a number of applicants with a variety of world views and lived experiences, united by an urgency to uplift the voices of Black men and boys."
"From economic inequality, healthcare disparities, graduation rates and life expectancy, it is clear that Black men and boys in our city have not been fully included in Boston's prosperity,” said Tito Jackson, CEO of Verdant Medical and former District 7 City Councilor. “8 Years ago, proposed legislation creating a Commission on Black Men and Boys and today it is a reality. I am grateful to Mayor Wu for making history by creating the Office of Black Male Advancement, Councilor Mejia for passing the legislation to create a Commission on the Status of Black Men and Boys and so many community advocates who have led the charge over the years for the Commission to be established. Together, the Office of Black Male Advancement and the Black Men & Boys Commission will boldly take on the vast challenges facing our community and truly make Boston a city for us all."
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- Published by: Black Male Advancement