- According to the US Census, approximately half of African American children live in a single female headed household. This number has held relatively steady since the early 1980’s.
- The Schott Foundation for Public Education released its biennial report about black males in U.S. public schools, estimating that 59 percent of black males graduated from high school on time in the 2012-2013 school year.
- In 2016, blacks represented 12% of the U.S. adult population but 33% of the sentenced prison population according to data compiled by the Washington Post.
- African-American boys from low-income families have a reading proficiency of just 10 percent.
- On the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 18 percent of African-American fourth-graders were proficient in reading and only 19 percent scored as proficient in math, according to an analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
The statistics above may be debatable on why they exist but cannot be disputed as to their existence. Disparities exist in these statistics between African American males and national rates. The question is what can we do about it. The overwhelming majority of mentees in our program over the years lacked relationships with positive male influences. For this reason, our programs are designed to meet this need and this is where members of the community can assist us. If you have time, please become a mentor or volunteer. If you don’t have the time, please consider becoming a donor. If you prefer not to support our organization or similar organizations, please consider mentoring a nephew, younger cousin or even a neighbor. The need is great. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the fierce urgency of now in regards to racial equality in this country. That same fierce urgency of now exists in addressing the needs of at risk African American male youth. The needs of at risk African American male youth are great and not of their creation. Therefore they require our greatest attention. Our greatest need is mentors.