Beyond Statements and Hashtags: Effective Practices to Disrupt Dehumanization


Though the country makes performative gestures to signify solidarity with people of color, the real work of supporting boys and young men of color (BYMOC) awaits. Forward Promise and its grantees outline ten effective practices that disrupt dehumanization for BYMOC and their communities.

“Dehumanization is the pervasive idea that people of color do not need, and are not worthy of, basic human dignities.”

“BYMOC heal, grow, and thrive when they are part of rooted communities that serve protective functions from the negative effects of trauma.”

“To eliminate health, education, and social disparities for BYMOC, data must be collected on how policies enacted across these systems actually impact BYMOC.”


  • Identify dehumanization, white supremacy, and patriarchy as root causes of racialized trauma and toxic stress.
  • Disseminate authentic, personal stories about BYMOC to counteract negative narratives.
  • Advocate for healthy masculinity—which acknowledges intersections across race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, and/or ability.
  • Transform the lives of BYMOC by promoting culturally responsive healing programming and policy reform.