The Leadership & Sustainability Institute Names New Generation of Black Male Achievement Social Innovators

BOSTON—The Leadership & Sustainability Institute for Black Male Achievement (LSI) announced today its inaugural cohort of seven Black Male Achievement (BMA) Social Innovators. The new BMA Innovators are leaders whose work has resulted in real improvements in the life outcomes of black men and boys and who have the passion and potential to increase their national leadership and impact.

“This first BMA Social Innovators cohort represents what winning looks like in the field of black male achievement,” said Shawn Dove, Manager of Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement, which launched the LSI. “These inspiring individuals are among the nation’s most promising leaders working to improve the life outcomes of black men and boys, and the Leadership & Sustainability Institute will provide them with the tools they need to increase their impact within their organizations and in the field.”

The BMA Innovators are working in cities across the country to attain educational equity, expand work opportunities, strengthen family structures, and promote positive frames and messages for black men and boys. They will receive 12 months of one-on-one capacity-building support, be introduced and showcased to local and national funders, and receive targeted support to increase their national leadership and impact in the field of black male achievement.

The 2014 BMA Social Innovators are:

A selection committee composed of 40 issue experts, funders, and practitioners reviewed applications from more than 70 organizations nationwide. The committee selected the new BMA Innovators based on their effectiveness as well as their potential to expand, impact systemic change, and become national spokespeople for the field of black male achievement.

The BMA Social Innovation Accelerator program is managed by Root Cause and is modeled after the group’s Social Innovation Forum, which has brought together nonprofits, philanthropy, government, and business to advance solutions to Greater Boston’s toughest social issues since 2003. Over its 10-year history, the Social Innovation Forum has recognized 59 Social Innovators, helping them to secure more than $10 million in cash and in-kind services.

The Leadership & Sustainability Institute is a national membership network supported by the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement, The California Endowment, The Heinz Endowments, Knight Foundation, Mitchell Kapor Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Casey Family Programs—to ensure the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors committed to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys through systemic change.

The LSI’s commitment to organizations and leaders seeking to improve life outcomes of black men and boys complements the new $9.5 million initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Forward Promise, which focuses on promoting opportunities for the health and success of middle school– and high school–aged boys and young men of color.

For more information about the Leadership & Sustainability Institute visit


The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 100 countries, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.