Byron Johnson, July 1, 2018
On Thursday June 28, 2018, at the Housing Authority of the city of Milwaukee Community Services Building, Great lakes Urban Empowerment representatives joined in a strategy lunch session with the Center for Black Male Achievement, Milwaukee Promise of Place, Derute Consulting Services and the Milwaukee Black Male Achievement Advisory council. The goal of this event was to, “support CMBA members and leaders with deepening impact and strategies to support black men and boys.”
The intent was to focus on areas of resources such as philanthropy, community-based efforts, education and other city -led efforts for these strategies. Along with the Milwaukee BMAAC Co-Chair Mayor Tom Barrett, Co-chair Kalief Rainey, and the full council, CBMA leaders Steve Vassor from New York City and Sheba Rogers from Detroit both presented and led the strategy luncheon.
Round-table introductions of roughly 40 individuals began with each stating names, identifying respective organizations and sharing personal reasons of attending the meeting. Responses varied such as looking to merge employment resources into the strategies, seeking how to boost impact though Milwaukee public schools, seeking to network with other individuals in the city and more. Sheba Rogers started the conversation by directing focus to the 8 “Core Values” that foster black male achievement. These values are:
1. City and Administration Commitment
2. BMB Stakeholder Communities
3. Coordinated Capacity Building
5. Reclaiming Black Men and Boys
6. Actionable Agenda for Black men and boys
7. Effective Practice Base
8. Coordination and Continuum of Activities.
Through conducting a community survey in the room of which value individuals would support the most, Coordinated Capacity Building, and Coordination and Continuum of Activities held the biggest response. These values involve focus on infrastructure to provide organization leadership development, strengthening capacity, and BMA stakeholders coordinating direct activities for the outcomes of BMA.
A central part of the afternoon conversation involved the Presentation of Priorities Pipeline, driven by former President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Challenge.” 8 goals on the pipeline were represented by individuals of whose organizations and background fields directly supported the various areas of focus. Groups gathered at various boards labeled with the 8 goals and supported ideas around vision planning and projected budgets and focus activities from their organizations.