The Field


Collaboration is pivotal to advancing the cause of African-American males. The Scholars Network recognizes the importance of its connections within its own interdisciplinary alliance as well as those linkages that fortify the larger field of work charged with improving life outcomes of African-American men. The above diagram serves as an analogy of a three-legged stool composed of major actors—Academia/Research, Nonprofits/Philanthropies, and Government. It depicts the structure of the field as well as the special opportunity that lies before the Scholars Network and like-minded academics to enlighten the host of advocacy efforts, public policies, and social programs impacting the lives of Black males.

Below is a list, organized by the three above mentioned field areas, of important players with a short description of their work:

Academic Sector

Scholars Network

Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

A research-focused organization based at Ohio State University that partners with people, communities, and institutions worldwide to think about, talk about, and engage issues of race and ethnicity in ways that create and expand opportunity for all.

Dellums Commission (Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies)

A 25-member panel designed to “analyze policies that affect the physical, emotional, and social health of young men of color and their communities.” While it is no longer active, the Commission released 11 vital reports covering topics such as the child welfare system, the juvenile justice system, media images and messages, and the health needs of youth.

Non-profit/Philanthropic Community

2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys

Launched in 2004 by Twenty-First Century Foundation, this initiative is designed to identify, highlight, and support effective strategies that focus on supporting Black men and boys and to surface new sources of support from individual donors and institutional philanthropy to supplement this effort. Its focus areas are 1) Economic Opportunity, 2) Educational Opportunity, 3) Engaged Fatherhood and Parenting, 4) Health (Physical and Mental), and 5) Justice, Rights, & Responsibilities

Partners: The Ford Foundation, the National Urban League, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Organization of Concerned Black Men, Open Society Institute, The Schott Foundation for Education, Center for Law and Social Policy

Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Launched in 2008 by the Open Society Institute, this three-year, cross-program campaign aims to provide expanded resources to address, and help reverse, the ways in which African American boys and men are stigmatized, criminalized, and excluded from the U.S. economic and political mainstream. The campaign’s three focus areas are 1) education, 2) family, and 3) work.


African American Male National Council

An affiliate of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, this 11-member council seeks to act as a catalyst group to afford opportunities for Black male commissions working at the state level.

Member commissions:

  • • Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males
  • • South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs
  • • California Commission on the Social Status of Black Males
  • • Governor’s Commission on Reducing Racial Disparities in Wisconsin’s Criminal Justice System
  • • Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission
  • • Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans
  • • Kansas African-American Affairs Commission
  • • Ohio Commission on African-American Males
  • • Washington Commission on African-American Affairs
  • • Florida Council for the Social Status of Black Men and Boys
  • • Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs