Boston: Inaugural Cohort of Young Black Leaders Announced

Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the first cohort of Young Black Leaders Boston, a new civic engagement program launched by the Mayor's Office of Black Male Advancement (BMA). This program is designed to help young Black men and boys between the ages of 13 and 17 in Boston high schools become civically engaged leaders in their communities. Young Black Leaders will include a 6-week spring course for the 20 selected students.

"Young Black Leaders Boston will build on our work to empower young Black students in our city, expand civic leadership, and ensure Boston is truly a city for everyone," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "We are excited to launch our first high school cohort of this program as another step to wrap around our young people outside of the school day and connect them with opportunities. I'm grateful to all of our partners in supporting this program and looking forward to this cohort's incredible impact."

"We are excited to launch Young Black Leaders Boston," said Frank Farrow, Executive Director of Black Male Advancement. "It is important that we empower our young Black male students and help them to thrive and share in our City's prosperity. This new program will support our young people, ensuring that they are equipped to access resources, build with their school community and lead in their neighborhoods."

The spring 2023 course of Young Black Leaders started on March 21 and will end on April 27. The participants in the cohort will gain skills, knowledge, and practical experience through weekly hour-long sessions designed to organize their communities for social change. They will also meet with City of Boston leaders, members of the Black Men and Boys Commission and Black Men Lead alumni to learn how to effectively navigate local government, access City services, and ways to make an impact in the City.

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Young Black Leaders 2023 Spring Cohort
  • Jamir Allen, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Alex Bailey, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Rahkim Brown, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Charles Cloy, Boston Arts Academy
  • Jeremiah Dellosantos, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Derek Dolly, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Jaiden Douglin, Buckingham Browne and Nichols
  • JaVaughan Francis, TechBoston Academy
  • Ikon Germaine, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Korey Gray, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Ian Heurtelou, Arlington High School
  • Michael Jarret, Josiah Quincy Upper School
  • Daniel Joseph, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Ayven Lewis, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Marcus Lloyd, Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Timothy Robinson, Jeremiah E. Burke High School
  • Jaiden Singletary, Boston Arts Academy
  • Erese Tejerakermeus, Boston Arts Academy
  • David Uzoma,  Henderson Inclusion Upper School
  • Anthony Williams, Henderson Inclusion Upper School

The participants in this cohort live in various neighborhoods in the City of Boston including Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, and the South End. Through the My Brother's Keeper Boston partnership with Boston Public Schools (BPS), BMA focused on engaging and supporting young Black male students in a variety of schools across the district.

"I chose Young Black Leaders Boston because I wanted to be in a program that would enhance young Black males all over Boston," said Jaiden Singletary, Young Black Leaders cohort participant. "I look forward to learning how to improve my leadership skills not only as a Black youth, but also for my school community and neighborhood. I'm thankful to the Office of Black Male Advancement for creating this program and honored to participate in something like this."

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The goal of this program is for each cohort participant to be in a better position to organize their communities for social change. Upon completion of this program, participants will share what they learned with others in their school communities and become more civically active in their neighborhoods on issues that matter to them. The program's sessions will be developed and facilitated by The Davis System LLC, which provides grassroots organizing strategy to individuals, organizations, and communities in Boston.

"Society has had long standing stereotypes against young black men and how we show up in our society, but this cohort of young black men from across the city of Boston are examples of how those stereotypes are not exemplary of the young black male experience," said Anthony Davis, Jr., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Davis System, LLC. "These young men taking the initiative to learn skills to organize their communities for social change is the first step in ensuring that we are building a culture of civic engagement with our black men from across the city of Boston.

The Mayor's Office of Black Male Advancement works to empower Black men & boys and to ensure they have equitable access to opportunities in the City. BMA also focuses on policies, programs, resources, and local and national partnerships. Additionally, the office directs and supports the efforts of the Black Men and Boys Commission and My Brother's Keeper Boston.

Filed Under: Government, City

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