The Sims-Fayola Foundation's mission is to improve the life outcomes of young men of color through direct programming and catalyzing systems change by addressing the root causes of educational inequities and institutional barriers.
Through collaborative partnerships with schools, community organizations, city agencies, and policymakers, we aim to collectively transform policies, practices, and resources to create an inclusive and supportive environment for these young men and boys. This collaborative approach fosters a systemic shift that benefits individuals and contributes to broader societal change and equity. We envision a future where policies, practices, and resources are transformed to create an inclusive and supportive environment for these young men and boys, enabling them to thrive and contribute to a more equitable society.
At the Sims-Fayola Foundation (SFF), we believe in a strategic and transformative approach to address the barriers that systemically marginalize young boys and men of color at multiple levels. To increase the chances for success, our organization embodies a set of core values that guide our mindsets, actions, work and shape our impact.
"No excuses" is a fundamental value at SFF. We refuse to accept any limitations or obstacles that hinder the success of young men of color. We are determined to break down barriers and create opportunities for them to thrive.
We believe in “leaving it all on the table.” We encourage young men of color to give their best in every aspect of their lives, whether it's in their education, careers, or personal growth. We empower them to push their boundaries and achieve their full potential.
At SFF, we prioritize “growing daily.” We understand the importance of continuous learning, development, and self-improvement. We provide resources and support to help young men of color develop their skills, knowledge, and abilities, enabling them to navigate through challenges and reach new heights.
A “championship mindset” is ingrained in our organizational culture. We believe in fostering a winning mentality that encourages young men of color to see themselves as champions in their own lives. We instill confidence, resilience, and determination, empowering them to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.
Lastly, we strongly emphasize the value of “showing up for each other.” We believe in the power of community and support. We create a network of individuals, organizations, and stakeholders who are committed to standing alongside young men of color, providing them with the guidance, mentorship, and resources they need to succeed.
Despite persistent calls for change, the United States education system has inadequately addressed the historic inequities faced by students of color. Young men of color encounter pervasive challenges from early childhood through adulthood, enduring disproportionate disadvantages irrespective of socioeconomic status. These challenges range from individual experiences to systemic barriers deeply ingrained in social norms, attitudes, institutions, and policies. In educational settings, boys of color face pronounced disparities contributing to the alarming school-to-prison pipeline. Research underscores the direct correlation between these disparities and the overrepresentation of young men of color, particularly African-American males, in juvenile detention centers and the prison system. Our mission is grounded in dismantling these barriers, advocating for equity, and fostering inclusive educational opportunities for all.
SFF recognizes that the multifaceted challenges faced by boys and young men of color are deeply rooted in systemic, community, and individual factors. Rather than adopting a segmented approach, SFF confronts societal norms and enhances individual, family, school, and community capabilities to uplift the lives of boys and young men of color through a transformative paradigm. This transformation involves an internal shift in ideas, beliefs, and values, essential for lasting change, surpassing mere external shifts in actions and strategies. Positioned at the forefront of creating transformative change from within, SFF delivers programs, workshops, and services to stakeholders impacting the lives of young men and boys of color, directly engaging with them. Serving as the backbone organization for My Brother’s Keeper Denver, SFF acts as a convener and active participant in a collaborative-action collective dedicated to enhancing the life outcomes of young men and boys of color from cradle to career. Through this holistic approach, SFF aims to reshape the broader narrative surrounding young men and boys of color, influencing public opinion, policies, and societal norms.
Our goals encompass a comprehensive approach to enhance access and opportunities for young men and boys of color throughout their journey from cradle to career. This involves reducing truancy rates, suspensions, and expulsions to create a more supportive educational environment. Additionally, we aim to foster increased participation in leadership and school activities, promoting the development of essential skills such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Our objectives extend to empowering young men and boys of color to align their choices with their ambitions, broadening exposure to careers underrepresented by people of color. Simultaneously, we strive to minimize the incarceration and involvement of young men, men, and boys of color in the justice system. Furthermore, we focus on enhancing the capacity of youth service professionals to effectively serve the unique needs of young men of color.