Keeping a Promise to Black Boys in America

Last Friday we had the great honor of bringing our film American Promise to the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, through an invitation from the Ariel Foundation International. The documentary follows our son and his friend's education at the elite Dalton School in New York City, providing a window into the lives of two middle-class black families as they navigate the ups and down of parenting and educating their sons. 

After a presentation of clips from the film, our panel focused on the significant role implicit bias plays in the right to equal education for marginalized groups. The experience of African American boys within the educational system is not unique to the United States, though it is hardly addressed on the global stage. 

With community engagement tools like American Promise, we are countering the effects of harmful societal stigmas that weaken the development of a positive self-image. All boys, in the United States and across the world, deserve the opportunity to succeed in their education. Our story, which we have now shared with the world, is an invitation to join the global movement to support black male achievement and champion education equity in classrooms everywhere.

Representatives from over a hundred different nations attended the screening. It is our great hope that American Promise will inspire greater dialogue around the right to equal education and foster momentum towards a culture that supports and celebrates black male achievement. Success is our only option.

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When I asked my 9 y/o son who had been reverting back to some "baby like" behaviors what was going on? He told me he was afraid of growing up because he didn't want to get shot or go to jail. Sad thing is. I am afraid of the same thing for him. Maybe I transferred that fear to him. But it was an eye opener to the terror little black boys fear.

Has American Promise been widely promoted and screened in our USA? Where are the local or centralized headquarters for this initiative? I work in Detroit and NYC and want to support action programs in which I can play a contributing role.

Hi Rod,

Yes, the film screened on PBS in February and we have an active ongoing engagement campaign based out of NY but working nationally. Can you email me at info@americanpromise.org to discuss? Thanks!

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