Last week a report on black male achievement commissioned by the Foundation Center and the Open Society Foundation was released: Building a Beloved Community: Strengthening the Field of Black Male Achievement.
The report builds on the 2012 study Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys, maps current work in the area of black male achievement and makes recommendations on what it will take to strengthen the field moving forward.
Based on interviews with 50 leaders in the social, academic, government and business sectors, the report takes stock of major sectors engaged in the field and examines opportunities for other constituencies — especially the corporate and faith sectors — to become more involved.
A “Rethink Philanthropy” chapter calls for longer funding commitments, increased general operating support, permanent endowments and other ways of moving beyond traditional philanthropy.
Susan Taylor Batten, CEO of ABFE, characterizes such efforts as transformational philanthropy and says:
“Ultimately, we have to find ways to ‘hard wire’ a race and gender lens into all investments rather than setting up special projects that are time-limited. The latter is important, but one of our goals is to change the sector so investments in black male achievement are not dependent on a particular leader.”
It is a timely release in light of a growing number of national initiatives focused on improving the economic, social and physical well-being of black males, including My Brother’s Keeper and the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color.
The concept of a “Beloved Community” was popularized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a core part of his philosophy.
According to The King Center: Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.
Sounds like a world worth working for.
- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate