Saving Our Sons Project:
This is a project devoted to researching and improving the schooling experiences of Black males across Los Angeles. The study examines the effectiveness of single-sex classrooms/academies across Los Angeles County that attempt to intervene in the perennial school failure of the Black males students enrolled therein.
State of Black Male Education (SBME):
The State of Black Male Education (SBME) project documents the educational outcomes of students in Los Angeles County over the past 15 years. The project has examined enrollment, retention and graduation data from the California Department of Education creating a ‘pipeline’ that demonstrates where Black males face significant challenges in Los Angeles County’s K-12 public education. Currently, the project has transitioned into a mentor model, allowing UCLA students to go into local area high schools, identify and work with high-achieving Black males.
Project Lumina is the BMI initiative to critically examine Black male retention at UCLA. The project provides a venue to unpack the experiences of Black men at UCLA to further scholarly dialogue on African American male retention and engagement in predominately white institutions of higher education. Project Lumina uses a research-practitioner based model to asses the needs of African American male students and implement retention initiatives.
Blacklimated in one of the retention initiatives launched through Project Lumina. As an intervention, the class has been designed specifically for first year (freshmen and transfers) African American men at UCLA. It seeks to provide a space for participants to engage one another in meaningful dialogue that is relevant to the individual and collective experiences of transitioning into UCLA. The class provides both a safe space for the sharing out of African American male experiences and critical thinking arena to unpack those experiences and foster clarity and understanding. The curriculum is designed to introduce participants to a number of pertinent resources that help establish a community for empowerment and successful navigation of UCLA.
The event is part of a national effort to find practical solutions for issues that continue to plague African-American male students. This think tank brings together scholars, researchers, students, teachers, parents, activists and community members for a series of discussions, presentations and workshops focusing on innovative research, policy implications, and practical solutions for issues affecting African American males in P-16 educational settings, and society.
In the 1960’s, the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools were part of a nationwide effort to assist African Americans in achieving social, political, and economic equality in the United States. Originating in the South, college-age youth operated Freedom Schools to provide an alternative to the state’s underfunded and segregated school system. Almost half a century later, CDF Freedom Schools continue to aid students through summer and after-school programs; and remain an important topic of discussion. With support from Supervisor Mark Ridley‐Thomas’ office, the UCLA BMI, along with Vital Research, are conducting research on the impact that CDF Freedom Schools are having on literacy development and civic engagement of South Los Angeles Youth.
In 2014, Dr. Shaun Harper from the University of Pennsylvania released the New York City Black and Latino Male High School Achievement Study. The goal of the publication was to understand how Black and Latino males succeeded in and out of school, developed college aspirations, became college‐ready, and navigated their ways to postsecondary education. The goal being, instead of further amplifying deficits and documenting failures in urban schools, Dr. Harper and researchers from UPenn chose to study students who figured out how to foster productive relationships, resist pressures to join gangs and drop out of high school, and succeed in environments cyclically disadvantaged by structural inequities. Building off the important work of Harper and Associates, the UCLA BMI launched a similar study in the summer of 2014 to examine the educational experiences of high-achieving Black and Latino males in L.A. County.