Black Future Month // 2-24-11 // 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys

Posted on February 26, 2011

Today’s post comes from a guest contributor, Gregory Hodge. When he’s not being my father, the leader of a spiritual community,r practicing family and personal injury law, studying West African Percussion or working in the garden, he’s on a flight. A professional facilitator, international educational consultant and business owner, Baba’s always on the road. The 21st Century Foundation’s 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys is one of the things that keeps my dad mid-air, and, fortunately one of the projects about which he’s most passionate. Since the project focuses specifically on the future of black males, I think it’s high time to get it up on this here blog.

The Campaign’s Mission is “to collaboratively develop and implement an initiative for the educational, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, political and economic development and empowerment of African descendant men and boys in the United States.” The organizers, researchers and fellows associated with 2025 represent black men and boys from cities such as Oakland, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Here’s a quick trailer to contextualize some of what my father wrote:

The 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys:
Finding and Embracing Our Unity of Purpose
By Greg Hodge, Community Development Associates

In 2006, a group of Black thought leaders assembled in a room to consider the current condition of Black males in the United States. It was clear that something significant, sustained and effective needed to happen to change things, but exactly what was yet unclear. After a year of wrestling with myriad issues and defining the struggles imbedded in life circumstance for Black men and boys in America, the 2025 Campaign for Black Men & Boys was born. A key fact undergirding our work is in the year 2025, Black boys born in 2007 will be 18 years old. We envision for them an America that is much different than what Black men currently see and experience. We envision a nation that is whole and strong because the structural racism that impedes Black male progress would have been eliminated, where Black males can rightly take their place as a productive and thriving part of American citizenry and leaders of their communities and families.

The 2025 Campaign exists to advance a vision that extends the historic pursuit of social justice for our community. Standing on the shoulders of our ancestors’ legacy of struggle as well as our contemporary need for self-determination and community responsibility, we are determined to improve quality of life for Black men and boys.

Our vision is comprehensive. Our window of opportunity is rapidly closing. The needs of our young people are painfully urgent. This work requires an unprecedented level of collaboration, alignment of resources and clarity of message.

Achieving our goals by the year 2025 will only be accomplished through engaging a broad base of African Americans, working with allies and partners, and using well-targeted and sufficient resources – human, financial and spiritual.

As a campaign, we intend to engage organizations and individuals, working in their own communities and political arenas, to “own” the campaign’s work. This means that our partners and affiliate local coalitions must advance the 2025 policy agenda in ways suited to local and regional contexts. That is, they must customize the policy agenda to respond to circumstances unique to the political, cultural, economic and social conditions in communities around the country. We believe that only through a thoughtful, yet urgent response in local communities can we build the momentum and unified voice capable of eradicating the root causes of economic, social and political inequities.

We invite your input, feedback and most of all, participation. Go to www.2025BMB.org to find out more. Write a blog, submit a video, let us know how you are involved in your community.

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Now that you’ve read about the intent and desired goals, I’ma add in one more video, so you, reader, can look at some of the early outcomes of The Campaign’s work. This one comes from a Game Changer Fellow in New Orleans, Brandon Odums. This is part one of a two part mini-doc on a New Orleans Based emcee — the man responsible for penning the words to the infamous “Who Dat?” N.O. Saints victory song — as he makes hajj. Click here to view the 7 minute doc. Game Changers: Black, Muslim in America Parts 1 and 2

Thickwit celebrates the work of The 2025 Campaign, and their intentioned and principled look at shaping the #blackfuture.


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