The Open Society Foundations, in partnership with Root Cause and PolicyLink, has announced the launch of a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations across the country working to improve life outcomes and create systemic change for African-American men and boys.
Sponsored by OSF, the Skillman Foundation, the California Endowment, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Heinz Endowments, the Leadership and Sustainability Institute for Black Male Achievement will host an inaugural Innovation and Impact Forum on October 3 to showcase current efforts, highlight research and tools, provide networking opportunities, and identify proven strategies in the field.
Launched after ten months of planning led by Root Cause, LSI will assist advocacy and service programs focused on African-American men and boys that have experienced difficulties in sustaining their work. To that end, Root Cause will manage a centralized portfolio of resources for LSI members looking to access capacity-building services and assistance and will lead a Black Male Achievement Social Innovation Accelerator to spread the work of effective organizations, demonstrate their impact, and help them become nationally recognized.
PolicyLink, a national research and advocacy organization, will focus on creating and strengthening networks at the local, state, and national levels, with a focus on coordinating policy and field-building efforts designed to improve outcomes for African-American men and boys, and will develop and disseminate communications content with an eye to shaping positive narratives for the field.
"Black men and boys are challenged by entrenched and systemic problems in need of innovative solutions," said Shawn Dove, manager of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement at the Open Society Foundations. "Leaders working in the field of black male achievement have always grappled with a lack of funding, capacity, and momentum. With the strong network of leaders created and sustained by the LSI, we can now create the support system necessary to sustain effective programs and policies that will do much to improve the lives of black men and boys across the United States."