The 2012 Black Male Achievement Fellows

In 2012, the Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green awarded the Open Society Black Male Achievement Fellowship to nine social entrepreneurs dedicated to advancing the lives of black men and boys in the United States. Each member of this inaugural class will receive $70,000 in startup capital for their innovative nonprofit as well as support through trainings, consulting opportunities, and mentorship.

Amaha Kassa, Harlem, NY

Kassa is launching the African Immigrant Diaspora Alliance (A.I.D.A.) a national network that provides direct services to immigrants. A.I.D.A. improves the lives of Africans in America and on the African continent by increasing their social, economic, and political power.

Donnel Baird, New York, NY

Baird’s BlocPower will develop Clean Energy Community Contracts to empower churches, non-profits, and small businesses interested in creating opportunities for black men by training community members in clean energy technology and providing them with job opportunities.

Cole, Oakland, CA

Cole’s Brown Boi Project works to position young black men (queer, transgender, and straight) and masculine associating women with the resources and social capital they need to transform their lives and work for gender justice.

Marquis Taylor, Brockton, MA

Taylor’s Coaching For Change (C4C) equips black male teenagers who at-risk of dropping out of high school with leadership, academic, and business skills so that they can teach, lead, and coach others in their community.

Markese Bryant & John Jordan, Atlanta, GA

Bryant’s and Jordan’s project Fight for Light will offer environmental leadership and job training experience to black male students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Khalil Fuller, Providence, Rhode Island

Fuller’s NBA Math Hoops harnesses the power and influence that NBA stars possess to inspire black male students to build math skills. Students use real-world NBA and WNBA player data to compete against classmates in timed, simulated basketball games.

Jessica Johnson, Atlanta, GA

Johnson’s project The Scholarship Academy (TSC) is a curriculum-based scholarship preparatory program that trains low-income, first generation students, many of whom are black males, how to use the principles of leadership, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement to win scholarships. TSC also teaches families how to overcome the social/financial barriers that threaten matriculation and develop strategies to ensure they graduate with minimum debt.

Neil Phillips, Sarasota, Florida

Phillips’ Visible Men Inc. (VM) tells the untold story of black male success in America. VM exposes black boys, and those who raise them, to artful, inspirational, and educational success imagery of “real-life” black men.