Jan 5, 2016, 10:00 AM, Posted by Maisha Simmons
A new toolkit is here to help us understand how to collectively build a path toward a healthy and productive adulthood for young men of color.
Trayvon Martin. Manuel Diaz. Rexdale Henry. Michael Brown. Some names may be more familiar to you than others. But all share a common fate of life lost too soon.
What happens when you hear their names? Do you think about the circumstances that prematurely ended their lives? Or do you regret losing the chance to benefit from the great contributions they could have made?
It's clear that young men of color face daunting barriers to health that directly impact their potential to succeed and thrive. Access to a series of supports and conditions specifically designed to address these barriers can dramatically change their life course trajectory. That is why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched our Forward Promise initiative a few years ago.
As part of this work, the big question we are always asking ourselves is what would it look like for every young man of color to grow up in a Culture of Health? We know for example that there would need to be positive school environments, access to role models, job training, support to understand and heal from trauma in their lives, and pathways to college and career, to start.