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Nine organizations selected for My Brother's Keeper mini grants program

July 20, 2017

Public Safety initiatives

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Public Safety

This is the second round of funding to support local organizations working to provide opportunities and mentorship to young men of color.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and My Brother's Keeper Boston, in partnership with The Boston Foundation, yesterday announced the nine organizations in Boston have been selected to receive a combined total of $50,000 in funding through the My Brother's Keeper mini-grant program. The program, which launched last August, is designed to support local organizations and entities who work to help maximize MBK's impact in improving outcomes for young men of color.

"We know that our young people need opportunities to thrive, and MBK paves for way for young men of color to succeed. This grant program supports mentorship, creative discussions and activities by nonprofits and organizations," said Mayor Walsh. "I congratulate all of this round's grant recipients, and look forward to our continued partnership to ensure our young men have every opportunity to thrive."

MBK Grant Round 2

"MBK Boston is proud to promote a collective action agenda to uplift black and brown boys," said Conan Harris, Executive Director of My Brother's Keeper Boston. "The MBK mini grants will enhance programming, connect grassroot efforts, and disseminate the promising practices of our local on-the-ground partners who know our neighborhoods and young people."

The following organizations were selected to receive awards:

  1. No Books No Balls Summer Basketball Camp Project (Roxbury):Funding will be used to support the hiring of young adults during the summer to assist with the annual summer basketball camp.
  2. Level Ground MMA (Downtown): Funding will be used to support the Student Trainer Certification program, which provides a career pathway for youth into Boston's Fitness Industry.
  3. Latino STEM Alliance (Citywide): Funding will be used to support training for Robotics instruction through a Novel Engineer program, which integrates quality literature with the engineer process. 
  4. Freedom House (Dorchester): Partnership with Ambitious Men Engaged in Necessary Dialogue (AMEND) to provide bi-weekly social and emotional sessions to address challenges facing young men and to build self-efficacy and professional development skills.
  5. Piers Park Sailing Center: Funding will support the East Boston High School Sailing team, one of the only BPS high schools with a sailing team and which is comprised of primarily Latino BPS students; and exposing them to opportunities for sports programming that require a diverse set of skills
  6. Inquilinos Boricuas En Accion (South End): IBA's Youth Development Program prepares teens, ages 14-18, for college and professional careers through an employment-based program that places them in rigorous courses centered on Creative Youth Development. 
  7. Caribbean Youth Club (Hyde Park, Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury): Caribbean Boys' Initiative helps Caribbean immigrant boys understand positive masculinity, build tangible life skills and achieve academic success. This group provides structure, discipline, challenges, positive peer bonding and male mentoring.
  8. Project Right (Roxbury, Dorchester): Boys R.I.G.H.T will provide group discussions, individual follow up and mentoring for 40 middle and high school young men of color who are involved with the Grove Hall area of Roxbury and Dorchester.
  9. Brunch and Ball Youth Mentoring Program (Dorchester):Professionals from the Boston area speak to teens from 13-19 years old about various topics of personal growth and self-development, with a focus on graduating high school and going on to college or post-secondary education. Athletic interaction with the teens is utilized to teach them to practice sportsmanship in the face of adversity, while lectures and workshops on professionalism and academic achievement are designed to equip them with life skills.

"We are pleased to continue our partnership with Mayor Walsh in the My Brother's Keeper Initiative," said Orlando Watkins, Vice President of Programs for the Boston Foundation. "This roster of grantees again demonstrates the creative and diverse ways that community organizations are working to expand opportunities for young men of color in the city - and we commit our continued support."

"Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) received a mini grant from the City of Boston's MBK initiative," said Abrigal Forrester, Director of Communication Action, MPDC, which received a grant through the previous cycle. "This funding has provided additional support for MPDC's efforts to serve black and brown boys participating in our youth workforce programs. Through this funding we conducted focus groups and feedback sessions with young males, which is guiding the program deliverables for MPDC's Youth Empowerment & Advancement Mentoring (YEAM) program going forward."

The goal of the program is to support mentorship, creative discussions and activities by nonprofits and organizations who will direct their efforts toward helping young people of color reach these milestones:

  • Graduating from High School Ready for College and Career: Increase the number of black and brown boys and young men graduating from high school ready for college and career. 
  • Successfully Entering the Workforce: Increase the number of black boys and young men successfully entering the workforce.
  • Reducing Violence and Providing a Second Chance: Reduce violence and provide a second chance, with a focus on black and brown boys and young men.
  • Increase the collective action and impact of the City of Boston and non-profit activities supporting young men and boys of color.

In February, Mayor Walsh announced the recipients of the first round of the MBK Boston Mini Grant program, which supported 10 local organizations through grant funding totaling $50,000.

Last month, Mayor Walsh and the national My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) for a Solution Session to introduce MBK Boston's newly appointed advisory board, and celebrate leaders supporting the work of MBK. One of the youth leaders of MBK and a newly appointed member of the board includes Devin Edwards, an active member of MBK Boston who grew up in the City of Boston and is now working to connect other young men of color with opportunities available to them through the program. 

Since it was first established, MBK Boston has:

  • Partnered with RootCause to release a report,'Mapping Momentum', that outlines recommended strategic priorities to improve life outcomes for Black and Latino boys and young men based on a scan of 142 surveyed nonprofits in the city.
  • Launched a mini grant program to support mentorship, creative discussions, and activities by nonprofits and organizations who will direct their efforts toward helping young people of color
  • Been involved in conversations at a national level regarding MBK Boston, most recently during a visit to the National Museum of African American History in Washington and during President Obama's final MBK White House Summit in December 2016.
  • Scaled up up Operation Exit by expanding it to include opportunities in the technology industry through a partnership with Resilient Coders;
  • Recruited new mentors through the Mayor's mentoring movement, and provided continued support of youth summer jobs and meaningful employment

Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched MBK Boston in September 2014, accepting President Barack Obama's MBK Community Challenge as part of the White House My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative to create positive pathways for youth, especially boys and young men of color. Over the past two years, Mayor Walsh established the MBK Boston Advisory Committee which led engagement within the community and developed a set of guiding recommendations to support milestones across education, employment, public safety and second chances. To learn more about MBK Boston or to get involved, visit