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Rise for Boys and Men of Color

Better Understanding Means
Better Strategy & Better Outcomes"


RISE for boys and men of color is an interdiscplinary field advancement effort.

We aim to understand and strategically improve the lives, experiences, and outcomes of boys and men of color in the United States.

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About 1

our focus

We focus on 4 populations

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans

About 2

Our Research

Our research spans five domains

Education, health, human services and social policy, juvenile and criminal justice, and workforce development.


A RISE Theory of Change

Ten principles were used to construct a RISE theory of change and develop its strategic activities. These principles respond to longstanding needs, challenges, and opportunities in academic research, community-based and youth-serving organizations, government and policymaking venues, and media.

  • Principle #1

    Narrative Change

    Moving beyond hopeless, criminalized, deficit-oriented, and racist misrepresentations of boys and men of color.

  • Principle #2

    Primary, Gender-Specific Focus on Boys and Men of Color

    Bringing greater clarity to the gender-specific needs and issues of boys and men of color, which necessarily entails determining what distinguishes the experiences of girls and women of color.

  • Principle #3

    Balanced Treatment of Racial and Ethnic Groups

    Expanding what is known about Black boys and men, while devoting considerably more attention to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and Native Americans.

  • Principle #4


    Understanding the interconnectedness of systems and conditions that work together to support and cyclically disadvantage boys and men of color; recognizing, for exmaple, that inequities in education and health are inextricably linked.

  • Principle #5


    Recognizing how race intersects with socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, language, (dis)ability, religion, and a range of identities that boys and men of color possess and perform.

  • Principle #6

    Disaggregated Data Analysis

    Analyzing data in more rigorous and responsible ways to highlight the unique needs, experiences, and outcomes of subgroups within each focal racial/ethnic group.

  • Principle #7

    Networks and Collective Action

    Bringing together networks of committed individuals and organizations to collaborate, share knowledge and effective strategies, leverage relationships and access to resources, and demonstrate solidarity in support of boys and men of color.

  • Principle #8

    Culturally Relevant, Authentic, Inclusive & Rigorous Evaluation

    Ensuring programs that serve boys and men of color are rigorously and appropriately assessed by scholars of color and other evaluators who deeply understand cultural contexts and appreciate viewpoints people of color offer.

  • Principle #9

    Structural, Systemic, and Policy Change

    Working to dismantle systems of oppression and institutionalized racism by strategically using research on boys and men of color to inform policymaking and philanthropy.

Funding the Transformation



Our Responses & Activity Categories

Community‐based organizations, educational institutions, and other entities have launched hundreds of initiatives across the U.S. focused on boys and men of color. Foundations have invested considerably in these initiatives, research studies, and evaluation projects. Despite this, life experiences and outcomes among boys and men of color remain largely unchanged; in some instances, they have worsened over time.

RISE responds to these problems and opportunities with six main activities:

  • #1

    Activity #1

    Convening education, health, human services and social policy, juvenile and criminal justice, and workforce development researchers and evaluators to take stock of what is known and what remains to be known about Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, and Latino boys and men. At each convening, boys and men of color, families, community stakeholders, policymakers, and practitioners will help scholars identify urgent, culturally responsive research and evaluation needs. Scholars will be convened within and across the five fields.

  • #2

    Activity #2

    Translating research and evaluation results from the five fields for policymakers, community stakeholders, journalists, and practitioners.

  • #3

    Activity #3

    Maintaining a vibrant virtual community that unites evaluators and researchers across the five fields with each other and promotes learning and action by policymakers, community agents, and practitioners. This dynamic web portal will include an extensive, open-access library of research on boys and men of color, a national directory of experts on each ethnic group and in each field, occasional virtual community engagement forums, and numerous other resources.

  • #4

    Activity #4

    Developing cohorts and communities of postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. students, and undergraduates of color to study boys and men of color and rigorously evaluate programs that serve them.

  • #5

    Activity #5

    Identifying emerging solutions with and on behalf of boys and men of color. This will be done through the regranting of funds for new research studies, ideation challenges, and program evaluation and capacity-building efforts.

  • #6

    Activity #6

    Disaggregating data by race, ethnicity, and sex for Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, and Latinas/os. Also creating new databases and data systems, while more finely disaggregating data within existing national data systems.

Advisory Board

Guidance and Expertise to Execute our Vision

RISE benefits from the guidance and expertise of 13 advisory board members who represent some of the nation’s leading research, evaluation, and community engagement organizations.


Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D.

National Collaborative for Health Equity

Joseph T. Jones, Jr.

Center for Urban Families

Erik Stegman

Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute

Ninez A. Ponce, MPP, Ph.D.

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Dr. Victor Sáenz

Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color

Quyen Dinh, MPP

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

Kevin Nadal, Ph.D.

Asian American Psychological Association

Ron Mincy, Ph.D.

Columbia University

Frank Harris III, Ed.D.

Minority Male Community College Collaborative, San Diego State University

J. Luke Wood, Ph.D.

Minority Male Community College Collaborative, San Diego State University

Marc Philpart, MPA


Neil Horikoshi, J.D.

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)