09/25/2017

Please Spread the Word: $9.5 million for Boys and Young Men of Color

Calling all nonprofits, community leaders and agents of change: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently announced a new Call for Proposals  for Forward Promise, a $9.5 million initiative that focuses on innovative, community-based projects working to strengthen health, education, and employment outcomes for middle school- and high school-aged boys and young men of color. The Foundation will award 10 grants of up to $500,000 each to support projects with preliminary evidence of impact in school discipline, dropout prevention, mental health interventions, and career training.

RWJF is particularly interested in hearing from projects focused on AAPI boys and young men – so get applying! And good luck!!

Jay Hayden to MC AAAF Annual Reception

We’re very excited to announce that Jay Hayden will be MCing our annual reception on April 17th in Washington, DC! You may know Jay as the actor from as Chris “Tak” Davis from Hulu’s Battleground:

Or from the AT&T Mobile commercial below:

– Liz Wu

David Mineta and the ONDCP

I spent most of this week at the annual Joint Meeting on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness (JMATE) in Washington, DC. On the second day, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction at the ONDCP David Mineta spoke about the recent policy shift around drugs, addiction and treatment that began when President Obama took office. Addiction is now viewed as a public health problem and the Administration is serious about curbing it.

The White House is also addressing the racial disparities in drug laws, said Mineta. President Obama’s Fair Sentencing Act dramatically reduced the 100 to 1 disparity between cocaine and crack sentences that disproportionately affected people of color. Over the past three years, the Administration has spent over $31 billion on federal drug treatment programs and is actively working to divert nonviolent drug offenders to treatment through drug courts instead of just straight incarceration.

Big thanks to Mr. Mineta on his dedication to helping folks struggling with addiction. And it’s great to have another Asian American mover and shaker to look up to.

For more coverage on JMATE, check Reclaiming Futures Every Day.

Bryan Stevenson at TED 2012 on Injustice, Juvenile Justice System, Need for Reform

This article was originally published at Reclaiming Futures Every Day.
“How can a judge turn a child into an adult?” That’s a question lawyer Bryan Stevenson has spent years asking. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit group providing legal representation to communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment.

Stevenson was invited to speak at TED2012, an annual conference showcasing big thinkers and doers throughout the world. He spent his 20 minutes discussing the power of identity, the dire need to reduce inequalities (including disproportionate minority contact), the injustice of juvenile life without parole sentences and mass incarceration. In his own words:

Here’s an excerpt from the TED Blog:

In the middle of a case where a judge ruled that a 14-year-old was fit to stand trial as an adult, Stevenson wondered, “How can a judge turn a child into an adult? The judge must have magic powers.” So, late at night and very tired, he worked on a motion to ask that his 14-year-old poor black male client be tried as a wealthy privileged 70-year-old white male. He wrote a searing critique and went to bed. Woke up and realized: He’d hit Send.

Months later, he went to court, wondering what the judge would say. On the way there he met a janitor, who found out he was a lawyer. The janitor hugged him and said he was proud of him. Then Stevenson went into court, and the judge was furious. Inside the court, people were angry. “Angry that we were talking about race, and poverty, and inequality.”

The janitor had come in and sat behind him, and at recess a deputy demanded to know what a janitor was doing there. The janitor replied, “I came into this courtroom to tell this young man, ‘Keep your eyes on the prize, and hold on.’”

Today, Stevenson wants to tell us, “All of our survival is tied to the survival of everyone,” and we can not be fully evolved human beings until we care about justice for all and are truly willing to confront our difficult past.

According to the TED organizers, Stevenson’s talk “inspired one of the longest and loudest standing ovations in TED’s history.” His talk was so powerful that audience members contributed $1.12 million to his campaign to “end excessive sentencing of children and stop the practice of putting kids in adult jails and prisons.”

Stevenson is arguing a case on that exact issue before the Supreme Court next month. Stay tuned for updates!

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