REPORT: Which U.S. Cities Are Investing in the Success of Black Men and Boys?

By Kenrya Rankin Jan 24, 2018

Despite living in a time where racism and hate crimes against people of color are increasingly in the news, and funding has been drastically reduced for federal programing that bolsters Black Americans, a new report from the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) reveals that cities across the nation have upped their commitments to helping Black men and boys succeed.

Released today (January 24), “Promise of Place: Building Beloved Communities for Black Men and Boys” scores 50 cities on what they are doing to engage and support Black men and boys as they fight the effects of structural racism. It includes profiles of five cities making big strides, as well as six that are not included in the Black Male Achievement City Index, but are making “valiant efforts to accelerate work on behalf of Black men and boys,” including Denver and Miami.

“As CBMA celebrates a decade of working to uplift Black men and boys as assets to our communities and our country, we issued this report to track city-level commitment, investment and action to advance Black male achievement,” said CBMA CEO Shawn Dove. “CBMA’s core mission is to elevate the local leaders and hometown heroes that are driving this important work forward in their cities. With the field updates, promising strategies and models of courageous leadership presented in ‘Promise of Place,’ we are encouraged and emboldened even as we recognize there is still much more to do in improving life outcomes and opportunities for our Black men and boys.”

This is the second edition of the report, which was first released in 2015. The cities were scored in five key areas:

Demographic Mix (10 points): Presence of Black men and boys as a percentage of the total male population in the city

City-led Commitment to Black Men and Boys (30 points): City demonstrates a city-sponsored initiative on behalf of Black men and boys (15 points), and/or has accepted the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge (10 points) and/or is a partner city of Cities United (5 points)

CBMA Membership (20 points): Significant presence of leaders and/or organizations in a city working on behalf of Black male achievement as measured by: 1) 30 or more CBMA individual members (10 points) and/or 2) 15 or more CBMA organizational members (10 points) per 100,000 residents

Presence of National Initiatives Supporting Black Men and Boys (20 points): Significant presence of: 1) four or more select national programs, initiatives and organizations directly supporting Black men and boys as part of their mission (10 points) and/or 2) five or more select national programs, initiatives and/or organizations whose work targets issues impacting Black men and boys in a city (10 points)

Targeted Funding Supporting Black Men and Boys (20 points): Dollar amount of targeted philanthropic investments (per 100,000 residents) supporting locally based organizations to conduct work focused on Black men and boys.

The authors report that 62 percent of the cities increased their scores since the 2015 report, while 30 percent held steady and 8 percent of cities actually saw a decrease in their scores. Fully 92 percent of the 50 cities have accepted the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, which pushes city leadership to adopt policies that ensure young people can reach their full potential. And there is currently $56,018,517 in targeting funding for this group, per the report, up from the $22,922,526 recorded in the last report.

Detroit and Washington D.C. remained tied for the top spot, with a score of 95 out of 100. Oakland (89), New Orleans (87) and Boston (83) follow. Columbus, Georgia, is at the bottom of the list, with a score of 17 (up two points from the 2015 report).

Read the full report here, and click here to learn where your city placed in the ranking.