New York City Leads the Way in Helping Young Men of Color Succeed
By Jahmani Hylton
In his State of the Union address, President Obama boldly proclaimed his administration’s pledge to help young men of color reach their full potential. As he marshals the expertise and commitment of the federal government, businesses, and foundations, he will look to successful models of programs and policies that can take root in communities around the country.
Launched in August 2011, the New York City Young Men’s Initiative is the nation’s most comprehensive municipal strategy tackling disparities faced by young men of color. More than ever, under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Young Men’s Initiative stands at the ready to work with our partners in government and philanthropy to share the lessons we have learned about what is working to ensure our young men are supported as they navigate their way to adulthood.
We’ve launched a range of innovative programs that bolster and reinforce the success of young men of color. We bring the full strength of flexible dollars to bear by leveraging public and private resources, and we critically analyze disparity indicators to ensure we fully understand persistent gaps in the well-being of our young men.
We know that we will never be able to reach all of the young men of color in our city, so we work to break down silos among city agencies and advance timely policy reform. But the magic of the Young Men’s Initiative is most visible in our ability to engage, support, and encourage New York City’s young men.
The Young Men’s Initiative is supported by the Open Society Foundations in partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Jahmani Hylton is director of the New York City Young Men’s Initiative.