The Annie E. Casey Foundation, in partnership with Foundation Center South, has announced the selection of fourteen local leaders for a six-month pilot program aimed at building the capacity of nonprofits working on behalf of boys and men of color in several counties in Georgia.
The Boys and Men of Color Executive Director Collaboration Circle will help the inaugural cohort of local leaders establish partnerships, strengthen their networks, and secure funding to develop educational and economic opportunities for boys and men of color. Program participants will meet monthly to develop strategies for engaging the philanthropic sector in their work and create collaborative, community-based programming designed to close the persistent racial and equity gaps that exist in Atlanta and the surrounding region. Participants also will get the chance to present their projects to potential funders and compete for a grant of at least $25,000 to pilot their concept beginning in the fall of 2017.
The local leaders selected to participate in the program are Chris Appleton (WonderRoot), Kenneth Braswell (Fathers Incorporated), Cheryl Livsey Bursh (Neighborhoods Focused On African-American Youth, Inc.), Scott Chatman (A Titus Man), Ian Cohen (Next Generation Men), John S. Kennebrew (Showcase Group), Waverly T. Lucas II (Ballethnic Dance Company, Inc.), Catrina DaCoasta McAfee (LaAmistad), Ervin C. Owens (CABEL Foundation), Mansoor Sabree (Inner-City Muslim Action Network), Susanna Marie Spiccia (re:imagine/ATL), Jason Terrell (Profound Gentlemen), Lydia E. Thacker (YMCA of Metro Atlanta), and Kenneth Williams (Scholarship Academy).
"We need to move from identifying the challenges boys and men of color face to cultivating leaders who are willing to step up and address them," said Kweku Forstall, who directs the Casey Foundation's work in Atlanta. "We hope the circle will be an avenue for participants to evaluate promising approaches and advocate for much needed changes to the public policies and systems that have kept us from investing in boys and men of color as the assets they are — here in Georgia, and across the nation."