Oakland Leads the Nation Helping Their Black Male Students

Five years ago Oakland Unified created a race-based program to help improve the lives of their African American male students.

The idea was revolutionary and controversial, but now the city leads the nation as a top city committed to aiding Black men and boys.

According to a report by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a national membership organization, Oakland ranks first scoring 95 out of 100 points, with Detroit and Washington falling second and third.

The scores are a reflection of how the city helps African American males in the areas of education, employment, life expectancy, and incarceration.

All of this is a reflection of national movements such as Black Lives Matter and President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which are focused on eliminating problems that have long affected Black men and boys.

“I think it’s a tipping point, a watershed moment,” said Chris Chatmon executive director of Oakland Unified’s African American Male Achievement office. “We’re all beginning to lean in to supporting African American males.”

Manhood Development classes for Black male students, as well as other male students of color, have been added to 20 elementary, middle and high schools in Oakland Unified. In addition, case managers are available to assist students navigate school, home, and any other obstacle that could halt their graduation.

As a result, grades have gone up while dropout rates and suspension have subsided.


Read more at SF Gate