Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mayor Walsh announces 9 organizations selected to receive funding through "My Brother's Keeper Mini Grant Program"

Second round of MBK mini grant funding to support local organizations working to provide opportunities and mentorship to young men of color

Representatives from MBK Boston and the nine selected organizations at the Bolling Building

BOSTON - Thursday, July 20, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and My Brother's Keeper Boston, in partnership with The Boston Foundation, yesterday announced the nine organizations in Boston have been selected to receive a combined total of $50,000 in funding through the My Brother's Keeper mini-grant program. 

The program, which launched last August, is designed to support local organizations and entities who work to help maximize MBK's impact in improving outcomes for young men of color. "We know that our young people need opportunities to thrive, and MBK paves for way for young men of color to succeed. This grant program supports mentorship, creative discussions and activities by nonprofits and organizations," said Mayor Walsh. "I congratulate all of this round's grant recipients, and look forward to our continued partnership to ensure our young men have every opportunity to thrive." 

"MBK Boston is proud to promote a collective action agenda to uplift black and brown boys," said Conan Harris, Executive Director of My Brother's Keeper Boston. "The MBK mini grants will enhance programming, connect grassroot efforts, and disseminate the promising practices of our local on-the-ground partners who know our neighborhoods and young people." 

The following organizations were selected to receive awards: 

1. No Books No Balls Summer Basketball Camp Project (Roxbury): Funding will be used to support the hiring of young adults during the summer to assist with the annual summer basketball camp.

2. Level Ground MMA (Downtown): Funding will be used to support the Student Trainer Certification program, which provides a career pathway for youth into Boston's Fitness Industry. 

3. Latino STEM Alliance (Citywide): Funding will be used to support training for Robotics instruction through a Novel Engineer program, which integrates quality literature with the engineer process.  

4. Freedom House (Dorchester): Partnership with Ambitious Men Engaged in Necessary Dialogue (AMEND) to provide bi-weekly social and emotional sessions to address challenges facing young men and to build self-efficacy and professional development skills. 

5. East Boston High School & Pioneer Charter School of Science Sailing Team (East Boston): Funding will support the East Boston High School Sailing team, one of the only BPS high schools with a sailing team and which is comprised of primarily Latino BPS students; and exposing them to opportunities for sports programming that require a diverse set of skills 

6. Inquilinos Boricuas En Accion (South End): IBA's Youth Development Program prepares teens, ages 14-18, for college and professional careers through an employment-based program that places them in rigorous courses centered on Creative Youth Development.  

7. Caribbean Youth Club (Hyde Park, Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury): Caribbean Boys' Initiative helps Caribbean immigrant boys understand positive masculinity, build tangible life skills and achieve academic success. This group provides structure, discipline, challenges, positive peer bonding and male mentoring. 

8. Project Right (Roxbury, Dorchester): Boys R.I.G.H.T will provide group discussions, individual follow up and mentoring for 40 middle and high school young men of color who are involved with the Grove Hall area of Roxbury and Dorchester. 

9. Brunch and Ball Youth Mentoring Program (Dorchester): Professionals from the Boston area speak to teens from 13-19 years old about various topics of personal growth and self-development, with a focus on graduating high school and going on to college or post-secondary education. Athletic interaction with the teens is utilized to teach them to practice sportsmanship in the face of adversity, while lectures and workshops on professionalism and academic achievement are designed to equip them with life skills. 

"We are pleased to continue our partnership with Mayor Walsh in the My Brother's Keeper Initiative," said Orlando Watkins, Vice President of Programs for the Boston Foundation. "This roster of grantees again demonstrates the creative and diverse ways that community organizations are working to expand opportunities for young men of color in the city - and we commit our continued support."

 "Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) received a mini grant from the City of Boston's MBK initiative," said Abrigal Forrester, Director of Communication Action, MPDC, which received a grant through the previous cycle. "This funding has provided additional support for MPDC's efforts to serve black and brown boys participating in our youth workforce programs. 

Through this funding we conducted focus groups and feedback sessions with young males, which is guiding the program deliverables for MPDC's Youth Empowerment & Advancement Mentoring (YEAM) program going forward." 

ABOUT MBK BOSTON Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched MBK Boston in September 2014, accepting President Barack Obama's MBK Community Challenge as part of the White House My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative to create positive pathways for youth, especially boys and young men of color. Over the past two years, Mayor Walsh established the MBK Boston Advisory Committee which led engagement within the community and developed a set of guiding recommendations to support milestones across education, employment, public safety and second chances. To learn more about MBK Boston or to get involved, visit