Bring Your “A” Game

The Open Society Institute's Campaign for Black Male Achievement hosted a screening of Bring Your "A" Game, a 22-minute documentary from the Twenty-First Century Foundation and actor-director Mario Van Peebles that seeks to reverse  the trend of poor educational outcomes for black men and boys. The screening was followed by a panel discussion about efforts to address the challenges facing black males and urban youth in particular.

The film underscores how educational achievement and high school graduation are essential to survival and success in today's world. Drawing on popular culture to highlight strategies that have improved the lives of black men and boys, the film includes commentary from Chris Rock, Geoffrey Canada, Spike Lee, Cornel West, Ice Cube, Richard "Dick" Parsons, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles, Lou Gossett Jr., Lupe Fiasco, Hill Harper, Damon Dash, Kevin Powell, Melvin Van Peebles, and former NBA star Alan Houston, among others. 


  • Felicia R. Lee, staff writer for the New York Times (moderator)
  • David C. Banks, president, the Eagle Academy Foundation
  • Kevin Powell, activist, writer, and author/editor of nine books, including The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life, and appears in "A" Game
  • Cassandra Mack, author and mother, books include The Single Mom's Little Book of Wisdom: 42 Tidbits of Wisdom To Help You Survive, Succeed and Stay Strong and The Black Man's Little Book of Encouragement
  • Antwon Allen, alumni member of the Brotherhood / Sister Sol
  • Jordan Lewis, senior at Eagle Academy for Young Men
  • Rev. Alfonso Wyatt, vice president, Fund for the City of New York
  • Rev. John Vaughn, program officer, Twenty-First Century Foundation

The event also featured performances by CAUSE, a young rap artist, and Sequan Spigner of Brotherhood/Sister Sol.

Shawn Dove, manager of the Open Society Institute Campaign for Black Male Achievement, and Ann Beeson, director of U.S. Programs, introduced the event.

The Twenty-First Century Foundation is a grantee of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

Date: May 18, 2009
Time: 5:007:00 p.m.

OSI-New York

Ann Beeson and Shawn Dove
Sponsored by: