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The vision of  MBK Denver is to create a collaborative, proactive network of support and resources to support young men and boys of color from cradle to college to career in the Denver metro area.

 

The Sims-Fayola Foundation, as the new backbone organization for My Brother’s Keeper Denver (MBKD), is poised to lead the largest citywide collective impact effort focused on strengthening the city’s youth-serving ecosystem, with an emphasis on young men and boys of color and improving their outcomes at scale. Ultimately, we aim to affect systems change by centering equity of access and opportunity in all that we do. The Sims-Fayola Foundation will leverage the power of data, our knowledge of the youth-serving ecosystem, and our relationships with grasstops and grassroots stakeholders to identify and support solutions aligned with five key areas and the six overarching My Brother’s Keeper milestones that drive positive community and systems level outcomes for the Denver metro area’s young men and boys of color.

The five key areas are:

  • MBK25- Building Equity Through Capacity Building: MBKD has a vast network of nonprofits throughout Denver that works to improve outcomes for young boys of color. They are tackling complex, systemic issues, often with little to no dedicated resources to build their capacity to do this work. A key strategy for achieving equitable outcomes in communities is by investing in the talent and leadership capacity of these partners.

 

  • Education: Supporting the Denver Public School District to pursue closing achievement gaps by identifying how instructional quality, student engagement, youth development practices, parenting, and school leadership all contribute to student achievement. Giving special focus to the Improvement of responding effectively to racial, ethnic, and economic equity.

 

  • Social and Emotional Health: City agencies and community-based organizations are working together to help boys and young men of color navigate through existing supports to create a pathway to success, which builds upon youth strengths and provides culturally reflective avenues of community support, mentorships and services.

 

  • Juvenile Justice System: Building a multi-sector partnership to reduce and prevent youth violence. Identifying how to systematically reduce risk and build resilience among individuals, families, and communities through the implementation of wrap-around services, which include mental health, trauma-informed care, individual and family counseling, and economic support services.

 

  •  Workforce Development: Strengthening economic mobility for young men of color by implementing a summer workforce program with Denver business and community partners that not only hires but also prioritizes coaching and mentoring to help young men navigate a successful work experience.

 

The SIX MBK Milestones are:

  1. Getting A Healthy Start & Entering School Ready to Learn: All children should have a healthy start and enter school ready- cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.

  2. Reading At Grade Level by Third Grade: All children should be reading at grade level by age 8 – the age at which reading to learn becomes essential.

  3. Graduating From High School Ready for College & Career: All youth should receive a quality high school education and graduate with the skills and tools needed to advance to postsecondary education or training.

  4. Completing Postsecondary Education or Training: Every American should have the option to attend postsecondary education and receive the education and training needed for the quality jobs of today and tomorrow.

  5. Successfully Entering the Workforce: Anyone who wants a job should be able to get a job that allows them to support themselves and their families.

  6. Keeping Kids on Track and Giving Them Second Chances: All youth and young adults should be safe from violent crime; and individuals who are confined should receive the education, training, and treatment they need for a second chance.

Our Process

To drive and sustain the community and systems-level outcomes that are aligned with the MBK Milestones and values, we will ground our work in the following processes initially in this order, but all at once after the initial cycle is complete:

  • Leveraging the work, momentum, resources, and people who designed, resourced, and sustained the strategic plan of MBK Denver since accepting the challenge in 2014 from President Obama. The goal is to gain historical understanding through analyzing historical grounding research and organizing structure, review past outputs, actions, and impact on established goals for identified MBK Milestones, meet with founding stakeholders to solicit their recommended actions and lessons learned and assess their level and type of continued commitment.

  • Identifying and convening diverse coalitions that are aligned with the MBK Milestones, offering value-add insights for their involvement, making key transformative connections between and within the coalitions, and creating and cultivating a collaborative space for committed stakeholders to identify their unique solutions and plans for the Milestones they are most aligned with. 

  • Convening regular Milestone-focused coalitions to collaborate to devise strategies -- grounded in data, past and current impact, and lived experience to develop a co-designed Milestone-aligned impact plan to overcome the systemic barriers of that Milestone to advance equity of access and opportunities to empower young men and boys of color.

  • Coordinate, monitor, and develop data through six independent sector pilots to refine and implement the co-designed strategies by curating technical support, project consultation, providing organizational development funding and program quality support for the small nonprofits in the coalitions, and other identified resources that are needed for sustainability and impact.

  • Connect the six Milestone-aligned impact plans where possible to create a broader region-wide collective impact plan that reflects the hopes, needs, and lived experiences of young men and boys of color.

Each part of this work is grounded in the driving values of the MBK framework. The driving values are:

 

  • CENTERING THE VOICES OF BOYS AND MEN OF COLOR: We believe in intentionally including the voices, ideas, wants, desires, and needs of the populations we seek to impact. We believe BYMOC and their caring support and partners are brilliant contributors to their success.  “Nothing about us without us”.

 

  • COLLABORATIVE APPROACH: We believe that the best way to close the equity gap for boys and young men of color is a collaborative approach to address the challenges facing boys and young men. We believe everyone has a role to play in ensuring all of our nation’s young people have equal access to opportunity. We must bring local governments, school systems, community-based organizations, philanthropy, businesses, and individuals together to help boys and young men of color thrive.

 

  • EVIDENCED-BASED SOLUTIONS: We believe that evidence-based solutions and data-informed decisions are the best way to ensure that boys and young men of color have the opportunity to succeed.

 

  • EQUITY-DRIVEN: We believe that race should not predict one’s success. We believe success is an option for everyone, and institutional and structural inequity must be eliminated.

 

  • POLICY FOCUS: We believe the driving forces behind many disparities facing BYMOC are the institutions that create an environment where institutional and structural racism can thrive.  To make progress on complex social conditions for BYMOC, we must not only develop new and creative programs but also address institutional and legislative policies that maintain the status quo.

 

  • SYSTEMS CHANGE: We believe in addressing inequity through changing core institutions that maintain systems of oppression and opportunity.

 

  • GENERATIONAL IMPACT: We believe in developing strategies that have a generational impact on communities to ensure lasting change and a shift in generational outcomes within a community.

 

  • OUTCOMES DRIVEN: We believe in an outcomes-driven approach that uses data to inform strategies and decisions continuously and focuses on population-level results.

 

The Sims-Fayola Foundation’s work has always been focused on where young men and boys of color live, learn and work. Over the past nine years, we have created student and adult-focused programs, experiences, and processes that have had a demonstrable, measurable, and positive impact on the lives of young men and boys of color, directly and indirectly. Our overarching goal is to help transform not only the young men but also systems so that they work together to ensure greater access, equity, and opportunity.

MBK MILESTONE VIDEO DISCUSSION WITH MBK COORDINATOR PRESTON LITTLEJOHN

MBK MILESTONE 1

Getting A Healthy Start & Entering School Ready to Learn:

All children should have a healthy start and enter school ready- cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.

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