This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
The Notebook is no stranger to discussions on improving the life outcomes of Black males in Philadelphia. Recent Notebook posts have examined:
- the high dropout rate of Black boys at KIPP middle schools,
- the District-run task force on the dropout rates of Black and Latino males, and
- the widely attended "Shifting the Numbers panel" on men of color and education.
Those more familiar with this field know that there are a number of organizations and individuals around the city doing great work on this topic, many of which fly under the radar and often don’t get support to sustain and bring their work to scale.
Which is why I was excited to hear about the creation of the new Open Society Fellowship for Black Male Achievement (BMA), in partnership with Echoing Green.
Open Society Institute is funding eight fellows to launch new organizations to improve the well-being of Black men and boys. The foundation made its first official introduction to the city last year when it convened a small group of practitioners from the Philadelphia/ Baltimore region.
So if you or someone you know might be interested in the fellowship, I strongly encourage you to take a look and consider applying. The application deadline is Monday, January 9.
Check out the press release for more information:
Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green Launch Black Male Achievement Fellowship
NEW YORK – The Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green announced today a new fellowship program for individuals dedicated to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys in the U.S. It is the first fellowship program of its kind that targets social entrepreneurs who are starting up new organizations in the field of black male achievement.
“We’re proud to support innovators working to transform the lives of black men and boys and their communities,” said Shawn Dove, Manager of the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement. “Historically, black males have been prevented from fully engaging in American society due to a host of economic, civic, social, and political barriers. Now for the first time, there’s a fellowship program dedicated to providing creative thinkers the space and support they need to tackle this complicated and entrenched problem.”
The online application for the Open Society Black Male Achievement Fellowship will be available on December 5, 2011 and closed on January 9, 2012. It will be awarded to eight fellows who are generating new ideas and best practices in the areas of education, family, and work such as initiatives related to fatherhood, mentoring, college preparatory programs, community-building, and supportive wage work opportunities. Fellowships will also be awarded for efforts in the areas of communications and philanthropic leadership.
“The pioneering efforts of social entrepreneurs have real and long-term systemic impacts on society,” said Cheryl L. Dorsey, President of Echoing Green. “We’re excited to be partners in this new Fellowship program focused on black male achievement. When all segments of our society succeed, we can be much more innovative and competitive as a country.”
Echoing Green has run a social entrepreneur fellowship for the past 24 years. Eighty-five percent of their Fellows remain in the social sector in leadership positions after their fellowships have ended.
Each BMA Fellow will receive a $70,000 stipend in start-up capital as well as technical assistance over 18 months to help them launch and build their organizations; access to technical support and pro bono partnerships; community of like-minded social entrepreneurs and public service leaders; and other benefits.
For eligibility and application information, go to: www.echoinggreen.org/bma-fellowship
About the Open Society Foundations
Active in more than 70 countries, the Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.
About Echoing Green
Echoing Green unleashes next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. We are a nonprofit social venture fund that identifies, invests in, and supports some of the world’s best emerging social entrepreneurs—society’s change agents. Because we believe human capital is the most important asset class, and understand the difficulties faced by social innovators who challenge the status quo with bold ideas for a better world, Echoing Green invests deeply in these next generation change agents as well as works to create an ecosystem around them that supports and celebrates social innovation as a high-impact strategy for social change.