Blog Entry Youth Development

CBMA Partners with MBK Alliance To Advance Work in Detroit

In 2008, the Open Society Foundations invested in the creation of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) with the goal of improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys. With this initial investment of resources, human capital, and the leadership of Shawn Dove, CBMA has seeded, and significantly contributed to, the development of numerous national initiatives that are working to improve the life outcomes of Black men and boys and boys and men of color.

Launched in 2015 as an independent entity, CBMA has continued to focus on improving the life outcomes for Black men and boys, and contributing to the larger discourse related to boys and men of color. It has been a national voice for change, action and engagement, establishing the first-ever social entrepreneurship fellowship for Black Male Achievement in partnership with Echoing Green; playing an instrumental role in paving the path for the launch of the My Brother's Keeper Initiative; helping to seed the creation of Cities United; and being instrumental in the launching of BMe Community.

To further our efforts in the United States, and in collaboration with communities across the country, CBMA’s place-based strategy will emphasize a High School Excellence Framework aiming to improve the rate at which Black men and boys graduate from high school ready for college, career and communities. We see our role as lying at the intersection of field building, through supporting leaders and organizations on the ground toward measurable outcomes, and movement buildingby way of changing the narrative and catalyzing momentum for Black male achievement).

In Detroit, CBMA’s place-based efforts to support the cities focused determinations to improve life outcomes for young men and boys of color through the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, has generated thoughtful partnerships with a variety of organizations. We are excited to announce that one of our principal allies in Detroit, the Skillman Foundation, has stepped forward in support of our mission, as well as their own, to have been awarded two VISTAs in an amazing partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, Public Allies, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA). Through the MBKA Americorps VISTA pilot program it is our intention to recruit two Detroiters to serve the community as servant leaders, thought partners and advocates. As engaged members of the Detroit community, the two VISTAS selected for this program will be cogent colleagues with everyone in Detroit engaged in efforts to improve the life outcomes for young men and boys of color.

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement stands in solidarity with MBKA to support a collaborative movement to raise awareness of the challenges facing far too many boys and men of color

The significance of the announcement of these two VISTA positions in Detroit is very much aligned with MBKA’s kick-off of their Invest in Youth: Pathways to Success BMoC Career Summit on July 21 in Oakland, CA. Designed to accomplish many things, including strengthening the local talent pipeline, this summit served as a model for the rest of the country. While attending the event I witnessed not just the excitement from young people who received meaningful employment, but their curiosity and inquisitive nature during the mentoring portion of the day.

As one young man sat with me to talk about his future and recent graduation from a university in Ohio, his eyes wandered the room as we discussed the different organizations in attendance. Going further, he was so invested in not only networking but also engaging with leaders who are focused on boys and men of color that he attended the press conference and the networking event at the end of the day. I show much respect to this young king, as he represents the best of what CBMA, MBKA, and all organizations working to enhance and improve the life outcomes for boys and young men of color, have to offer.

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement stands in solidarity with MBKA to support a collaborative movement to raise awareness of the challenges facing far too many boys and men of color, while also embracing narrative change that celebrates the success of so many boys and men of color in the United States.

Dr. Robert W. Simmons III is CBMA's Vice President of Strategy and Innovation. 

For more information regarding the MBKA Americorps VISTA application please contact Dr. Simmons at


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