California Funders for Boys & Men of Color

California Funders for Boys & Men of Color Impact Report for the year 2021

Dear California Funders for Boys and Men of Color members and supporters,

Amidst the ongoing challenges of a global pandemic and the continuing fight for racial equity, I am proud of the work California Funders for Boys and of Men Color has done in 2021 to deepen our impact commitment for boys and men of color, their families and communities. 2021 was marked with the challenge of living through a pandemic along with emphasizing the urgency of addressing issues like educational equity, economic security and juvenile justice. It is vital that boys and men of color have access to opportunities, resources, and investment and that we build a world that is safe and supportive for them to navigate these uncertain times. Building resilience means creating solutions for lasting change, not just temporary relief.

Over the last year, CFBMOC stepped up to meet the moment in responding to our community partners. Through investments, advocacy and funder solidarity, our network demonstrated the value of sustained commitment and action. We supported organizations in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Sacramento/San Joaquin regions through pooled investments and grantmaking to support communities and on-the-ground organizers. We activated our network and used our voices in support of legislation like SB2 (Police Decertification Process and Expanding Civil Liability Exposure) and AB46 (the California Youth Empowerment Act) as part of our policy priorities.

In our 2021 Annual Report, we are sharing highlights of what we accomplished together as well as some inspiration for what’s coming next as we help to build the collective power of boys and men of color, their families and communities across California. I am deeply grateful for your continued partnership and hope this report provides you with an opportunity to reflect, renew and strengthen your engagement for the road ahead. We’ve got more work to do and I believe together, we can create a California where boys and men of color can thrive.

Chet P. Hewitt President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and the Center
READ: Behind a Funding Push for Boys and Men of Color

Check out this January 2021 article in Inside Philanthropy on how our network works through participatory grantmaking and follows the lead of organizations on the ground to identify what issues facing boys and men of color need our attention and funding.

Our Investments by Region

In 2021, CFBMOC worked in partnership with our members and community partners to move towards our goal of improving the health, educational and economic opportunities for boys and men of color.

Through our place-based regional action committees, CFBMOC made:

  • $1.3 million in statewide pooled fund investments
  • $7.39 million in leveraged investments
  • $4.2 million in grantmaking
Northern California RAC
Issue Focus: Workforce Development and Juvenile Justice
Statewide Pooled Fund Investments
Leveraged Investments
$1.1 Million
Sacramento-San Joaquin RAC
Issue Focus: Access to and completion of post-secondary opportunities
Statewide Pooled Fund Investments
Leveraged Investments
Southern California RAC
Issue Focus: Transforming Youth Probation into a comprehensive youth development system
Statewide Pooled Fund Investments
$3.4 million
Leveraged Investments
$5.5 million

Regional Action Committee Highlights

Southern California

In addition to increasing funding for community advocacy efforts, the Southern California RAC is focused on reforming the justice system for both young people and adults. The Southern California RAC is building on its efforts to reduce youth incarceration, transform the youth justice system and create a new youth development department in Los Angeles County.

Northern California

Last year East Bay Community Foundation celebrated James Head as he transitioned from his role as President and CEO . The RAC began redeveloping its leadership table. With Lateefah Simon from Akonadi Foundation, Allison Magee of Zellerbach Family Foundation and Fred Blackwell of San Francisco Foundation currently heading up the work, we will keep network members updated on who will join this leadership table and the formation of the workforce development and youth justice strategy.

Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley Region

In 2020, CFBMOC granted $300,000 to 12 organizations focused on educational equity for boys and men of color in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley regions. Last year, in the midst of a pandemic, the 12 grantee partners worked together to develop a blueprint that paves the way for a healthy and effective school-to-career pipeline for young men of color. Stay tuned for the release of the equity-centered education blueprint in 2022.

When we trust our grantees and trust organizers on the ground and people who are directly impacted, magic happens, and we make the impossible possible.”

— Shane Murphy Goldsmith
President and CEO, Liberty Hill Foundation

A Spotlight on Here to Lead

Celebrating the Real Stories of Directly Impacted Leaders

Tyler Okeke speaks to a crowd

Here to Lead is an inspiring storytelling initiative for and by multi-generational boys and men of color in California. Through their stories, these leaders share their unique experiences, passions and the issues they are dedicated to in their communities. We’re fighting to change the narrative and empower directly impacted leaders to tell their own stories with nuance, honesty and truth. MovementBe, which is dedicated to helping young people develop a growth mindset through creative storytelling, and Here to Lead partnered together to uplift the stories of young men currently in juvenile hall by sharing, in their own words, the urgency of transforming California’s youth justice system. Captured in audiogram form, the original poems are written by Alex Garcia, Bryan Juan Escobedo, and Eliseo Araujo, and performed by MovementBe artists Terrance Carter and Justice Freeman.

Hear the poems:

Eliseo Araujo
listen to
“To the World”
Alex Garcia
listen to
Bryan Juan Escobedo
listen to

Watch the interviews:

Jesse Rodriguez
Southern California
Xavier Brown
Northern California

What’s coming up for Here to Lead

Here to Lead marked the first storytelling initiative for and by multi-generational boys and men of color around the state of California. Since its launch, it has celebrated the leadership, power and voice of multigenerational, AAPI, African American, Latinx and Native American boys and men of color, and, to date, highlighted 21 stories, including

Across its dedicated Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels the storytelling initiative has garnered:
Initiative leaders have also been featured in:

Now, we are developing the next phase of Here to Lead. Thank you to our members and partners who have spent time sharing your reflections and insights on what more we can do through this initiative. These insights will be driving the communications strategy for Here to Lead “2.0”. Later in 2022, we will share what’s next for the storytelling initiative, and how you can partner with us to lift up the stories and voices and stories of boys and men of color.

California Funders for Boys and Men of Color is truly a unique network bringing together CEOs and organizations that share the same commitment to creating transformative change that advances the life outcomes for boys and men of color. What we learn within the network is implemented in our work and ultimately benefits the communities we serve.”

— Dr. Robert K. Ross
President & CEO, The California Endowment

The Life Course Framework

How to Create a Healthy Future for Boys and Men of Color

A Q&A with Arnold Chandler

Arnold Chandler is the co-founder of Forward Change Consulting based in Oakland, and led the development of the Life Course Framework, which grounds CFBMoC’s strategy and approach. We talked with him about the framework, his vision for boys and men of color, and more.

Tracking and Driving Policy Change

Beginning in 2021, in partnership with Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and Everyday Impact Consulting, we have been tracking the relevant policies that will impact our priorities and communities. To date, we have conducted six policy briefings with our members to explore the impact of California’s state budget, proposed legislation and policies on our work and boys and men of color. We have also been tracking the progress of our wins, such as the closure of the Division of Juvenile Justice, what implementation and next steps may be looking like on the ground and what the implications of this year’s budget and results of the midterms can mean for the state. We are looking forward to continuing the sessions to ultimately strengthen California Funders for Boys and Men of Color’s policy power and our members’ awareness and engagement around policy, taking action where it's needed.

We are at a pivotal moment in reimagining how we don’t go back to ‘normal’ as our communities and our state recovers from the pandemic. It is essential that we center the voices and solutions of those that continue to be most impacted to truly transform our youth justice system and achieve racial justice.”

— Abraham Medina
Convener and Co-Coordinator, California Alliance For Youth & Community Justice

Evaluating Our Impact

Lessons Learned From Our Network

In December 2021, we received our program evaluation findings from the Social Policy Research Associates. The research focused on generating recommendations for improvements, documenting lessons learned about our funder collaborative model and sharing outcomes rising from the network’s investments. The evaluation featured interviews with funder members, regional action committee members and grantee partners.

We were advised to:

  • Extend the table and strategically bring on other funders
  • Foster greater funder engagement
  • Align our funding strategy to support the needs of grantee partners and policy implementation
  • Increase opportunities for cross-regional connections
  • Invest in refining the strategy to further a statewide policy agenda

Diving deeper into the report, here is a brief summary of our members’ reflections:

  • Member funders felt aligned with the network’s unique focus on boys and men of color and liked the opportunity amplify investments with like-minded organizations and CEOs.
  • Members shared they gained learning and advocacy opportunities through their participation.
  • Members found value in CFBMOC’s Life Course Framework, an organizing frame for the work that provides a cohesive set of guiding principles mapped to the life trajectory of boys and men of color.
  • Members asked for more opportunities to engage and share info across the network.

Through direct support from the CFBMoC regional pooled fund, there are three key streams of work that are continuing to take place on the ground:

  • Direct services programming for the key communities of each region Examples include enhancing existing youth and community centers in Southern California and expanding scholarship programs for boys and men of color in Sacramento.
  • Policy and funding advocacy around each region’s focus Examples include supporting The Justice Collective to help develop an education-specific policy recommendations in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley region, and working with corporate entities to advocate for equitable workforce development, economic access, mobility, and opportunities across public and private sectors in the Bay Area.
  • Coalition-based work that encompasses both direct services and policy advocacy work Examples include the collaboration between community housing partners, the Sacramento County Offices of Probation and Education, and CSU and UC program leaders to implement the Reemerging Scholars program that prepares opportunity youth for higher education and college completion in Sacramento/San Joaquin, and the Los Angeles County’s Youth Justice Work Group that uplifts leaders in the youth justice advocacy movement in Los Angeles County.
  • At the state level, the network brings together key partners, such as the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and the Assembly Select Committee to advance policy change alongside BMoC-focused organizations. Our streams of work fall into:
    • Statewide policy advocacy
    • Narrative change and storytelling
    • The connection between regional efforts with broader statewide policy change
  • Examples of these activities include the campaign to close the Division of Juvenile Justice in California and the Here to Lead storytelling campaign.

The evaluation shows that this network has been a critical voice for African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and Native American boys and young men in California.

Over the last decade, California has developed a powerful and robust movement to support boys and men of color due to the collaboration of advocacy networks, community members, and funders. Collectively, we can make our state more equitable and create the conditions needed for self-determination.”

— Eric Morrison-Smith
Executive Director, Alliance for Boys & Men of Color

If you’re inspired by our vision for boys and men of color in California and are interested in joining our network, get in touch with Chris Cooper at . Thank you to 2021 California Funders for Boys and Men of Color members!

California Funders for Boys & Men of Color

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