We are all aware of the myriad of dismal statistics that are associated with young men and boys of color as it relates to life outcomes and school success. The stubbornly persistent narrative for this population has been:
* Low graduation rates.
* High drop out rates.
* High incarceration rates (School-To-Prison Pipeline).
* Low college attrition.
* Disproportionally high suspension and expulsion rates.
The Achievement Initiative Foundation (AIF) was launched in 2020 as a 501(c)(3) to help change this narrative. We boldly accept the challenge to improve the lives of young men and boys of color by addressing the obstacles (educational and societal) that directly affect their life outcomes. We use original programming and awareness campaigns, partner with established community foundations and organizations, and individual schools and districts to address these stubbornly persistent issues for urban males. Our programs, services, mission, and values are driven by three pillars: 1. Building Awareness, 2. Building Equity by Design 3. Building Capacity. Our desired outcome is to provide direction, education, guidance, resources, direct support, and ultimately relief in these areas so the futures of these young men look like their dreams.
Despite a long history of inequity, the United States education system’s treatment of students of color has remained relatively unmoved as repeated protests calling for change continue to be undervalued and overwhelmingly ignored. The challenges facing young men of color are startling and widespread. From their earliest years through adulthood, they are disproportionately disadvantaged and at-risk regardless of socioeconomic status. Challenges stem from individual encounters to massive, seemingly insurmountable systemic barriers that are ingrained in our social norms, attitudes and behaviors, institutions, and policies. For boys of color, challenges become increasingly apparent in school systems, where significant disparities exist at various levels.
There is significant consensus among researchers that these rates are directly correlated to the school-to-prison pipeline, which leads boys of color to be pushed out of school and into prisons, resulting in the overrepresentation of young men of color, particularly African American males, in juvenile detention centers and the prison system.
Achievement Initiative Foundation (AIF) believes addressing these challenges requires a strategic, transformative approach that dismantles barriers that systemically marginalize young boys and men of color at multiple levels. By engaging multi-level stakeholders, from educational and community leaders to researchers, criminal justice professionals, policymakers, and youth themselves, AIF has risen to this challenge of combatting systemic violence of all types against boys and young men of color.
To improve the life outcomes and experiences of young men and boys of color and increase the capacity of the youth service professionals who work with them to provide their services through an equity and gender lens.
Click images below to learn more about our programs.