This month, we hosted our Knights of the Roundtable event at Social Venture. The purpose of the Roundtable was to convene key funders, practitioners, and policy makers to learn more about the field of boys and young men of color and discuss the solutions to local issues plaguing this population.
Knights of the Roundtable was hosted Marcus Littles, founder of Frontline Solutions. In opening, Littles presented his thoughts and research-based findings in Confronting Brokenness in the communities that many boys and young men of color reside in today. He presented four parts of brokenness: 1. Broken Systems 2. Broken Interventions 3. Broken Narratives and 4. Broken Boys. “How do we confront brokenness of young folk, but also the systems serving them?” Littles asked the audience of over 40 practitioners and funders as he stressed the need of understanding the core issues before addressing them.
Following Littles’ presentation, guests were divided into breakout session groups. During the breakout sessions, each group was charged with creating an intervention applicable to an issue plaguing boys and young men of color in Birmingham. The group members were further challenged to operate within the scope of predetermined roles; the goal was to create more collaborative, targeted efforts to truly impact the population’s issues.
Immediately following the breakout sessions and lunch, our moderator, Marc Philpart introduced the Roundtable panelists. As the senior director of PolicyLink, Philpart has been a leader in the field of boys and young men of color, overseeing strategic partnerships and projects that contribute to the overall health and success of BMOC, their families, and communities. He began the panel discussion by noting how important it is to address issues facing boys and young men of color in order to create effective and sustainable changes in our communities.
The Knights of the Roundtable panel guests included David Shapiro, president, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership; Attorney Joyce White Vance, Former United States Attorney; Isabel Rubio, executive director, HICA! The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama; Anthony Smith, executive director, Cities United; Judge Shanta Owens, 10th Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama; and Gus Heard Hughes, vice president, programs, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. The panel addressed issues such as including BMOC when developing and communicating mentoring strategies, and measuring the effectiveness of mentoring.
Check out more highlights from the Roundtable: