Forward Promise recognizes that boys and young men of color often face several challenges in their path to adulthood. As the announcement highlights, boys and young men of color are more likely to grow up in poverty, live in unsafe neighborhoods, and attend schools that lack the basic resources and supports that kids need in order to thrive. In addition, the announcement suggests that this population’s behaviors and actions are often judged more severely and may result harsher punishments compared to their peers, which may limit future employment and other opportunities.
In an effort to tackle these challenges, Forward Promise Grants intend to spur innovative practice by funding programs that will improve the opportunities available to and success of these boys and young men. Recognizing that the challenges boys and young men face are interrelated and occur in the context of a larger community, the Forward Promise Grants target community-focused programs that involve partnerships and engagement from several sectors. Grant applicants should propose promising approaches and/or programs that address one of the following areas:
- School discipline policies that do not push students out of school
- Early dropout prevention and intervention strategies
- Mental health approaches that target youth who have experienced violence and/or trauma
- Career training initiatives that ensure students are college and career-ready
Preference will be given to applicants that are public entities or nonprofit organizations that have an annual organizational budget of at least $1.5 million. RWJF expects to award up to 10 grants of up to $500,000 for up to 30 months. Below is a list of key dates in the application process: