Blog Entry Narrative Change

“Framing The Narrative”: Great Examples Abound

BY SEANDRA SIMS

In recent years, I’ve witnessed the landscape for Black male achievement growing by leaps and bounds. Through my work with the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), My Brother’s Keeper, BMe, and countless schools, my outlook for boys and men of color is inspired and optimistic, influenced by the committed foot-soldiers I’ve seen at work in the field.

These folks are problem solvers – focused on finding solutions and forging pathways in an often-bleak society. The challenges facing boys and men of color are tremendous; yet, I can’t help but remember that our theme “Framing the Narrative” also means taking stock of the great stories that abound, too.

What I know is that boys of color are excelling via what some might consider “non-traditional” approaches that don’t receive enough recognition. Take for instance, the Sankofa Passages program, which once existed within Philadelphia Public Schools. I woke up a few Saturday mornings ago to find Sankofa being profiled on PBS, featuring COSEBOC’s Rites of Passage expert, Kamau Ptah. Or in that same City of Brotherly Love, where I rummaged through photos recently of Boys Latin Academy founder David Hardy and his students, who boast an 87% college acceptance rate this year.

Young men from Oakland are using their poetic talents to excel with the unwavering support of educators like Chris Chatmon, who will bring a group to the 10th Annual COSEBOC Gathering of Leaders in May. And then there’s Urban Prep Chicago, a school that will be spotlighted during the Gathering at the COSEBOC Members-Only film screening of “All The Difference”, a poignant documentary about some of the Chicago school’s students. No plot spoiler here. Come see the film.

Imagine that’s just an iota of the ‘reasons to believe’ from across the country. And there are hundreds and thousands more. I‘m looking forward to helping share some of their great stories at #COSEBOC10 in New York City in May. And to the foot-soldiers in the field, thank you for the opportunity to work alongside you and help frame a positive narrative for our boys and men.

Seandra Sims is a PR and marketing consultant for #COSEBOC10. Say hello at @SeandraSims.

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