Indianapolis has released a Plan of Action to help the Indianapolis community; organizations and agencies inside and outside of government to help improve the quality of life for African-American males ages 14 to 24. The Plan of Action, released Tuesday, is part of Indianapolis’ Your Life Matters® Initiative in conjunction with Radio Stations Hot 96-3, 106.7 WTLC and AM1310 The Light (WTLC). The effort is also a part of President Barack Obama’s My Brothers Keeper Community Challenge. The effort began in April 2014, when Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard convened the Your Life Matters® Task Force Co-Chaired by Tanya Bell, President & CEO of Indiana Black Expo, Inc. and Jamal Smith, Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. The Task Force in November outlined problems and recommendations in five key areas. As part of the My Brothers Keeper Community Challenge, with six months after the city’s October commitment, Indianapolis was required to convene a “Local Action Summit”, Conduct a “policy Review and Recommendations for Action and then “Launch a Plan of Action.” The release of the Plan of Action completes that final step in the Community Challenge Commit Initial Commitment. The Areas of Action, Goals and Strategies to achieve those goals are outlined here:
GOAL/Targeted Result – All African American male youth in Marion County graduate from high school on time and are prepared for success in the workforce or enter higher education and complete a degree program by age 24.
- Reduce out of school suspensions for attendance and non-safety related problems and ensure that students are receiving the relational and learning supports necessary to be successful in school.
- Update the out of school suspension codes to be more reflective of current issues, with disaggregated data outcomes and other data issues identified and requiring additional information to be provided when the term “other” is used by schools in completing the state report for suspensions and expulsions.
- Incorporate culturally responsible instruction and classroom management to ensure that all youth are successful in school.
- Implement alternative programs for students charged at school with misdemeanor and/or status offensives so that students are able to continue their education uninterrupted by suspensions.
- Engage school leaders in a shared advocacy agenda to enact education policy reforms designed to decrease the potential for disproportional in-school discipline and graduation outcomes for African-American youth.
- Engage diverse partners to serve as thought leaders to develop realistic approaches to supporting educators and schools in implementing evidence based practices designed to reduced disparities and increase students overall success
GOAL/Targeted Result – All African American male youth in Marion County are prepared for success in the workforce and are gainfully employed in a career-track job upon completion of high school or college.
- Create a private sector youth employment initiative in partnership with a community-based, culturally competent youth and young adult development program in order to identify and increase job opportunities for African American males ages 16-24.
- Identify quality youth employment programs that are working in our community, and scale or replicate those programs to increase services for African-American youth.
- Create incentives for existing small businesses and build the capacity of social enterprise programs to hire, train, and equip African American youth ages 16-24.
- Increase student and parent awareness of workforce certification opportunities, available at Marion County high schools and one-year college degree options, as ways to gain rapid job readiness and earn college credits, and increase the number of African-American male youth earning industry certifications and college credit.
- Ensure that local colleges and universities have programs and policies designed to recruit and retain African American males.
JUSTICE & REENTRY
GOALS/Targeted Result – All African American males between the ages of 14 and 24 are free from arrest, detention, and incarceration.
- Strengthen youth relationships with police.
- Continue to deepen the work of JDAI (Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative) and other diversionary programs in Marion County.
- Provide access to evidence-based care coordination and support services.
- Connect people with a history of incarceration to jobs that have adequate pay and benefits.
GOALS/Targeted Result – All African American males between the ages of 14 and 24 are safe and healthy.
- Develop and promote health outreach and education messages that are targeted to African American males ages 14 to 24 and are used consistently across all health partners.
- Implement a community-wide violence prevention campaign that spans across sectors and leverages that reach, skills, and resources of a diversity of community organizations.
- Community Intervention Team (CIT) to deal with health issues among 14 to 24 year olds.
- Develop a coordinated system of care across healthcare providers and community agencies that leverages resources and assets and respond to gaps in the system.
GOALS/Targeted Result – All African American male youth ages 14-24 in Indianapolis are afforded the opportunity to benefit from a positive, high-quality mentoring relationship.
- Develop a mentoring networking collaborative to promote a tiered infrastructure of mentoring programs for reaching disconnected African American male youth.
- Create sustainable campaign/events to generate greater awareness regarding mentoring to build and diversify the pool of mentors.
- Promote access to evidence-based and diverse mentoring approaches to ensure that mentoring services meet the unique needs of African American males.
During a special edition of Afternoons with Amos, individuals involved in preparing the Plan of Action appeared on the program as Amos walked the listeners and community through the reports recommendations and next steps. Along with Tanya Bell, appearing on the broadcast were Pat Roe, USA Funds; Cindy Jackson, IPS; Lena Hackett, Community Solutions. ; JauNae Hanger, Children’s Policy Institute; Andrea Ekiyor, Indianapolis Housing Agency. You’ll want to hear their discussions as it helps explain the reasons behind the Plan of Action. Click the Link To Download The Your Life Matters®/My Brother’s Keeper Plan Of Action YOUR LIFE MATTERS PLAN OF ACTION Hear The Full Afternoons with Amos Discussion of the Your Life Matters®/My Brother’s Keeper Plan of Action. Runs 75 Minutes ©2015 WTLC/Radio One. Audio Begins After Video Ad. [theplatform account=”BCY3OC” media=”_dBJ3J2Uz9uw” player=”xFJXq1diB1tB”]