Our Dual Approach to Addressing Needs
Direct Services – Systems Change
Each part of BOTR’s work – local Oakland youth programming and capacity building work impacting boys and young men Bay Area wide and beyond – strengthens the other. We share our models with other organizations to maximize impact and ensure schools, nonprofits and public agencies can maximally support males development. We infuse all we learn through these partnerships back into curricula we use for youth BOTR directly serves.
Setting the Context To Maximize Change
BOTR uses “lenses” of gender, culture, class, environment, and systems to critically examine challenges facing low-income urban male youth of color, and to identify, implement and advocate for strategies needed to eliminate these obstacles. By helping youth, adult allies and organizations to think critically, we facilitate change on individual, organizational and institutional levels.
Primary Prevention – We Start Young
BOTR starts young with boys in elementary school to prevent involvement in gangs, drugs, and other unhealthy behaviors. We recognize male youth of color face numerous obstacles to success – disproportionately affected by poverty, exposure to violence, special education referral, foster care placement, school discipline and incarceration. To keep males of color “alive and free” as Dr. Joe Marshall says, we begin at an early age.
Pipeline to Success & Social Responsibility
BOTR places male youth firmly along a path to personal, academic and professional success. Through service and action projects, boys are socialized as helpers and change makers. From older elementary school through college, BOTR facilitates a pipeline to middle class jobs within health, human service and other community benefit careers where males are greatly under-represented yet vitally needed.
Cascading Mentoring & Manhood Training
BOTR youth all have older males to learn from and younger ones to support – from elementary school aged participant to middle school peer leader, high school and college aged mentor/intern, to adult staff, board and volunteers. Day by day, month by month, year by year, boys learn to embody what it means to be a responsible, peaceful, caring, and productive man – accountable to themselves, their brothers and sisters, their families and their communities.