Blog Entry Youth Development

Member Spotlight: Emmet Mitchell

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January 2016 Member Spotlight: Emmet Mitchell of The Milestones Agency

What We Do: Build families by developing leaders, fathers, husbands and scholars by educating at-risk boys and young men on the responsibilities of manhood; and teach them how their positive development and choices will have a profound impact on the quality of living for the women and children in their lives and in their respective communities.

Number of Black Men and Boys Served Annually: 1,200 served annually (25% direct contact; 75% as part of a one-time service via conference or workshop).

LIFE OUTCOMES IMPACTED FOR BLACK MALES:

  • Our Website
  • Date Founded: 2012
  • Location: Detroit, MI
  • Number of Staff: 3
What are you most proud of in your work to improve life outcomes for Black men and boys?

The immediate behavioral and attitude changes over a very short period of time always makes me feel proud. There have been instances where our boys have opportunities to engage in leisure activities, and yet they choose to attend our Survival, Success, and Leadership training. Participation has been a great indicator for our program, and we are proud too that our retention is always in the low 90th percentile, and there have been instances where our boys catch the bus in the winter to attend programming.

What opportunities do you see based on CBMA’s recently released Promise of Place report and Black Male Achievement City Index, and Detroit having the highest score of the 50 cities in the index?

It is great to see Detroit highlighted as a top-scoring city in the BMA City Index, and it makes sense given the large number and percent of Black men and boys in our city which leads to a great need for this work. I see the index and report providing an opportunity for service providers and other organizations to create a great local discussion platform and to gain increased exposure to further our work. With the work of Black Male Achievement becoming nationally recognized and CBMA being the lynchpin between organizations in this field, there is also a significant opportunity to launch a national conference and discussion around best practices and cultural competence for all providers who work with Black men and boys. This includes training providers that are both within and outside the Black Male Achievement field on the diverse range of cultures and subcultures among Black men and boys, and connecting the work of these providers across cities.  

How can other members in the CBMA network help advance your work?
  • Research our work and practices to gain confidence, understanding, and insight into our strategies and why they are effective.
  • Invite us to national and local discussions regarding educating, empowering, and protecting Black males.
  • Connect us with likeminded organizations around the country that are committed to this work.
  • Connect us with funders, stakeholders, and foundations who believe in what we do, and want to help advance the work to educate, empower, and protect Black males.
  • Help our curriculum gain the exposure it needs to help Black males around the country.
What has joining the CBMA network meant for your organization?

The information we receive from the research conducted by CBMA has been invaluable to our agency. We are very appreciative of the work that CBMA does around the country. It has also allowed us to connect with other agencies who work in a similar capacity, and the Organizational and Leadership Capacity Assessment report generated for us by CBMA has been a great measurement tool for our agency.

What areas of your organization are you most focused on strengthening, and why?

We want to build our capacity. We are a small agency with the ability to serve thousands annually, but in order to do that we need more staff, and staff of course comes at a cost. We also want to increase our annual budget size to serve more boys. We spend most of our modest budget on transportation and food. We need our own vans so that we can use transportation funds for another programming line item.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, or other resource that you would recommend to other CBMA members?

The Survival, Success, and Leadership training workbooks are sold in packages of 10, and The Milestones Agency of Metro Detroit can administer the training to facilitate the curriculum to any organization or group. The workbooks are available at www.themilestonesagency.org.

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