The OSSS Boys of Color (BoC) Early Years Health and Education Workgroup, a table of early health and education providers, practitioners, and advocates from city, county and community-based agencies, was formed in 2017, after OSSS completed an equity analysis of early years health and education outcomes. The BoC Workgroup’s mission has been to identify, recommend, and support the development of effective practices, programs and policies for those working with young boys of color.
The BoC Workgroup identified a common set of indicators for young children in Oakland, including those showing the greatest disparities for boys of color. In 2018, the Workgroup published a Call to Action asking public systems leaders and others who touch the lives of young children to hold themselves accountable for a common set of early childhood indicators for health and education.
The BoC Workgroup then reviewed research on national promising practices that positively impact those indicators and asked: What local agencies are improving outcomes for boys of color and their families in the identified outcomes areas, and how are they doing it? We identified those local agencies and providers, interviewed them, and shared their promising practices in this Portfolio. The Portfolio explores two major areas that many Oakland agencies have focused on: family engagement and trauma informed practices. The agencies we chose to highlight represent some of the innovative work going on in Oakland to nurture educational joy and success for all children, particularly boys of color.
The Portfolio is for anyone interested in re-imagining what it means to support and engage with boys of color and their families, especially families living in poverty or with trauma, including the trauma inflicted by racism. The BoC Workgroup is developing workshops that will support implementation of the promising practices identified in the portfolio. These workshops will also incorporate feedback from parents and community members.