Dear friends and followers of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color,
During the holiday season, the spirit of gratitude and generosity rings loudest. I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you all and to share the growth and progress that COSEBOC is making due to the support of members, partners, donors, and funders.
Recent Covid pandemic restrictions have caused COSEBOC, like so many organizations in a similar space, to make pivots essential to the sustainability of our work. Over the past three years we have successfully made the changes that have enriched our mission: the affirmative social, emotional, cultural, and academic development of boys and young men of color.
Our highly regarded Gathering of Leaders, impossible due to in-person meeting limitations, was replaced by a series of virtual convenings featuring nationally known presenters like Dr. Bettina Love, Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Dr. Pedro Noguera in sessions moderated by both youth and adults. We also celebrated our 15th Anniversary of service to boys and young men of color in an amazing virtual celebration. Although not a perfect substitute for the fellowship of the Gathering, the Virtual Gatherings sustained and enriched participants in their isolation from school and each other.
The first was created from our core framework, COSEBOC Standards, The Uncommon Core for Schools Educating Boys of Color. This foundational course is complemented by two others: “D.R.U.M.- Discovering Rituals Understanding Manhood” and “Footprints and Footsteps” All three courses reinforce the importance of culture, identity, agency, and empowerment in the lives of adults and the young men under their watch. Although these courses were initially designed to be virtual, they are now available in-person or in hybrid format. I am happy to share that all three have drawn great interest and contract commitments from school districts large and small.
We are also in the process of launching a youth-centered project which we are calling the COSEBOC Youth Ambassadors Program. It is designed to be a service and empowerment program for high-school-aged young men and women who want to enable their peers, parents, and community members to become more knowledgeable and active participants in the student’s education.
Last but not least is our new project called the Vanguard School District Initiative. This initiative is also supported by the Hewlett Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. It draws from the significant learnings which we have accrued from our district transformation work over the years. We are in the process of selecting two school districts that have proven to be totally committed to equity, healing-centered, bias-free education, and the dismantling of policies, practices, and procedures that hinder these important steps.
So, friends, as you can see, COSEBOC has much to be thankful for as we move from pandemic to progress and from hustle to flow. On behalf of COSEBOC, I send my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone who has stayed with us on this journey and kept the faith that COSEBOC would remain true to its mission.