Initiative

Health and Healing Strategies

Health and Healing Strategies

CBMA's Health & Healing Strategies initiative aims to improve the health outcomes of Black males by promoting self-empowerment and wellness education among leaders in Black Male Achievement. Launched in 2016, these strategies are designed to ensure that leaders in the Black Male Achievement field have the tools and resources to facilitate and sustain their health and healing, and that of the Black males and broader communities that they serve. 

With seed support from The California Endowment, CBMA Health and Healing Strategies will implement education and broader community-based strategies to work with school districts in providing capacity-building, strategic communications and community-building tools to help:

1) Provide caregivers with trauma-related response strategies;

2) Invite and train members to facilitate Mentor Wellness Circles aimed at improving schooling and youth development outcomes of black boys and young men of color;

3) Implement culturally-responsive teacher training and professional development designed to improve classroom management and reduce stress for school personnel and caregivers; and

4) Provide strategic communications resources to guide members on how to increase healthy and healing lifestyles for themselves, as well as teachers, mentors, parents and young men, both locally and nationally.

Under the guidance of Dr. Phyllis Hubbard, Director of Health and Healing Strategies, CBMA has been working with the Sacramento and Oakland Unified School Districts to serve as lead partners on this effort, in addition to other BMA leaders that will provide support in various other ways.

CBMA has also enlisted network partners to implement health and healing strategies to advance Black Male Achievement outcomes for parents, school personnel and community leaders. They include: 

  • Strategic Destiny LLC, which will empower caregivers with trauma-related response strategies to influence the decisions that affect them 
  • The National CARES Mentoring Movement to leverage partnerships to recruit, train and facilitate mentor wellness circles to develop youth leadership 
  • Flourish Agenda to implement culturally-responsive professional development for school personnel to improve classroom management and reduce stress
  • 393 Films, which will produce and disseminate strategic communications to increase healthy and healing lifestyles. 


We are excited for the opportunity to partner with CBMA and others to make sure the educators, youth development change agents, counselors, coaches, mentors and other leaders working with our youth feel supported and healthy to go the long haul to care and love our children." Marcus Strother, Youth Development Coordinator for the Sacramento City Unified School District.

The Birth of CBMA Health & Healing Strategies

In 2009, Shawn Dove invited Dr. Hubbard to deliver wellness presentations for its grantees during the first CBMA Transformational Leadership retreat. She developed a presentation entitled Transformational Leadership from the Inside Out, which for the first time focused on self-empowerment and healing strategies for leaders in the field of Black male achievement. The workshop revealed an overwhelming need for health and healing strategies for BMA leaders. Participants felt empowered to share their challenges with major health issues including metabolic syndrome, depression and suicidal thoughts. Shortly thereafter, the BMA field lost some great leaders including Dr. Shawn White who transitioned at the age of 42 of complications of hypertension. It was during this pivotal time that the idea to help advance the Black Male Achievement (BMA) field by facilitating healing and self-empowerment from the inside-out came to fruition.

The Future of CBMA Health & Healing Strategies

CBMA Health & Healing Strategies’ initial year of work revealed an increased demand and awareness of the need for BMA Health & Healing Strategies in schools, organizations and communities. Our strategies seek to close the health equity gap in communities by promoting healthy behaviors and strengthening the health and wellness of BMA leaders and caregivers who in turn create healthier environments for the young people they serve. This positive trickle down effect can be witnessed almost immediately.

In April 2017 we were thrilled to share that The California Endowment has awarded a two-year $500K grant to keep building our Health & Healing Strategies vision! With this additional funding, we can continue to inspire health & healing for Black men and boys through innovations and collective genius. Stay tuned here for more exciting news and updates!

How are you working to improve health outcomes in your town? Share your ideas with CBMA by tagging us on Twitter @BMAchivement and @GetRadiant using the hashtag #CBMARadiant!

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