Creating Opportunities for Young Men of Color

Young boy at computerIn February 2014, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. This week, the president is announcing an additional $104 million in funding from new partnerships with public and private groups to address the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color at critical stages throughout their lives – from early education to college and career.

AIR’s work focuses on issues critical to the support of young men of color, from childhood interventions to preparation for career success, including:

Getting a healthy start and entering school ready to learn.

Technical Assistance Partnership for Children and Family Mental Health
AIR provided technical assistance to state, regional, and county system of care communities operating the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program, including those that have juvenile justice- and child welfare-involved youth as a population of focus.

Reading at grade level by third grade.

The Equity Project
The Equity Project at AIR is dedicated to opening the doors of opportunity for all American children, especially low-income and minority children. The ambitious goal of The Equity Project is to join with researchers, policymakers, and educators to create new equity models of education so that public schools will flourish and serve their mission as The Great Equalizers. Read AIR principal researcher Peter Cookson's blog post, Opening the Doors to Opportunity for All.

Graduating from high school ready for college and career and successfully entering the workforce.

Early Warning Systems: Designing Effective Interventions to Improve College & Career Readiness
The National High School Center at AIR developed an early warning systems tool that provides accurate and timely data to identify students most at risk for dropping out of high school. The center’s tool allows districts to dig deeper into their data, see patterns, and uncover the reasons behind students’ poor performance. Learn more about early warning systems in education

Keeping kids on track and giving them second chances.

Do We Need Seclusion and Restraint in Our Schools?
A blog post by David Osher, Institute Fellow, AIR vice president, and senior advisor to the Health and Social Development Program, points out that education should develop students, not place them in harm’s way.

Keeping Kids Out of the School-to-Prison Pipeline
In 2013, Nineteen youths accepted AIR’s invitation to talk about how harsh school discipline has impacted them and the risks and challenges of the “school-to-prison” pipeline in front of an audience of policymakers and practitioners who work on juvenile justice and related issues. Read more about the Roundtable: The Perspectives of Youth Affected by Exclusionary School Discipline and view a short video discussion with participants.

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Synthesis of Research and a September 2013 Listening Session (PDF)
This report synthesizes research, and the voices and opinions of mentoring experts, practitioners, parents, and youth shared at a listening session. Co-authored by AIR researchers, it recommends federal support for high-quality mentoring programs and services for children of incarcerated parents. See also, How Can Mentoring Help Children with Incarcerated Parents?, a brief interview featuring Dr. Roger Jarjoura, a principal researcher in AIR's Health and Social Development Program.