Press Release: Forward Promise Launches New Membership Network to Support Those Serving Boys and Young Men of Color

The Forward Promise Network, a membership-based community, offers complimentary resources, research and online forums for organizations and individuals dedicated to fostering the health of boys and young men of color

WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 8, 2018 Forward Promise, a national program office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), today launched the Forward Promise Network – an online learning and networking community focused on trauma and healing for boys and young men of color (BYMOC). The Network is specifically designed for professionals and direct service providers in youth serving organizations, with an emphasis on BYMOC, ages 12-24. Network membership includes access to webinars, live chats with national experts, focus groups, an interactive network map to identify and connect participating organizations, and exclusive Forward Promise and affiliate events and conferences. These free resources are intended to expand knowledge and build the capacity of organizations and individuals committed to providing culturally responsive opportunities for boys and young men of color to heal, grow, and thrive.

In 2017, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced a $12 million investment to continue its support of work in the field of boys and young men of color through the creation of the Forward Promise National Program Office. The organization is fully committed to supporting the Forward Promise Network’s growth, as an extension of the organization’s core values.

“Every boy and young man of color deserves educational opportunities, career guidance, creative outlets, and emotional support – vital elements of a Culture of Health. The Forward Promise Network will strengthen the efforts that make this ideal a reality,” said Maisha Simmons, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Forward Promise is led by psychologist Dr. Howard Stevenson, Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

“Forward Promise is excited to launch a membership-based community that offers a robust collection of free resources, insights and content currently available to professionals dedicated to fostering the success of boys and young men of color,” Dr. Stevenson said.

Forward Promise facilitates grants, provides technical assistance and field-building support to organizations seeking to buffer the effects of trauma and promote healing for various racial/ethnic communities including African-American, Native American, Latino, Asian-American, Pacific Islanders, Arab-Americans, and more.

“The team at Forward Promise knows there are many individuals and organizations around the nation striving to enable boys and young men of color to reach their fullest potential. Through the Forward Promise Network, we can empower these professionals and communities with resources and insights, while continuing to cultivate the young people they serve,” said Dr. Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant, Deputy Director of Forward Promise.

Steven Jumper