Equity & Diversity Opinion

Campaign on Behalf of Minority Males

By Richard Whitmire — June 20, 2011 1 min read
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ETS joins with a Harvard advocacy group to point out the problems seen among minority males.

While both the reports and campaign are positive signs, I continue to have misgivings about defining this issue along racial lines. The problems affecting black boys are related to the problems seen among white boys from blue collar families. By narrowing the scope of the problem you narrow the likelihood of finding a solution.

Previous campaigns targeting minorities end up comparing black boys to white boys, when in fact at least half their efforts should be dedicated to comparing black boys to black girls, etc. This issue is mostly about gender.

From the release:

Nearly half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead. This jarring statistic is just one of many highlighted in two new reports that will be released today by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center at an event held in collaboration with the Harvard University's W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research in Cambridge, Mass.. The reports, The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color: A Review of Research, Pathways and Progress and Capturing the Student Voice, are especially relevant given the need for these young men to attain postsecondary degrees if the nation's economy is to thrive and compete globally. The reports provide the most comprehensive data, research findings and recommendations to date to improve the educational experiences and pathways of young men of color. The qualitative research study, conducted in collaboration with the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), provides findings from 92 in-depth personal student interviews that are captured through video storytelling. This information is combined in a dynamic website. Together, these resources provide a compelling narrative that tracks the progress and pitfalls for young men of color from high school through college. In addition, there is a legal implications and policy brief that provides guidance for designing programs and policies to serve these students. Last year, the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center released a report that explored The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color. This initiative builds off that work. The reports seek to give a balanced view of the educational issues that exist for young men of color across four minority groups -- African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans -- throughout the K-20 pipeline. According to the findings, just 26 percent of African Americans, 18 percent of Hispanic Americans, and 24 percent of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders have at least an associate degree. The reports also provide an analysis of the postsecondary pathways for young men of color and identify the barriers and catalysts to college.

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