grantee spotlight

How Three New York City Organizations Are Shifting the Narrative for Young Black Men

Shifting internal narratives and inherent beliefs by creating pathways to care and support

In New York and across the country, Black men are dealing with an alarming range of health disparities, including increased risk of chronic disease and depression compared to other racial groups. And from a young age, racial disparities and discrimination can also leave a lasting impact on mental and emotional well-being. In order to support Black men, organizations are working to shift the internal narratives and inherent beliefs many Black men hold about themselves by creating pathways to a range of care and support services in their communities.

The following grantees are working across New York City to foster safe environments for emotional development from youth through adulthood and build strong community networks that result in Black men and boys leading more empowered and successful lives.

George Jackson Academy

George Jackson Academy (GJA), a middle school that aims to foster both young boys’ intellect and emotional well-being, is supporting vulnerable students of color through afterschool programs designed to promote students’ health and academic interests in a safe environment. GJA proactively offers community spaces, emotional support services and a sense of brotherhood that can make young boys feel supported and capable of success. Early adolescence is a time of crucial social-emotional development, and with three out of four GJA students coming from low-income families, community-centered programming is essential to setting positive outcomes for these young New Yorkers.

In Brooklyn, Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI), a non-profit organization operating in hospitals, communities and schools is working to end the presence of violence in young lives. KAVI views violence in a young person’s life as a public health issue, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color that are unjustly at risk of loss of life due to violence, poverty and crime. The organization created its Youth Ambassadors Program to improve young New Yorkers’ mental and behavioral health by promoting leadership and restorative justice. By viewing violence as an issue of public health, KAVI prevents dangerous or lethal interactions while simultaneously providing a community for young Black men to develop emotional and personal skills.

Kings Against Violence Initiative

Across each organization, the development of emotional skills plays a key role in uplifting Black boys and men. The Living Redemption Community Development Corporation (LRCDC) is a Credible Messenger-led community-based initiative that is youth-focused, family-centered and community-driven that is serving Central and West Harlem with a mission of “Saving Lives and Healing Communities One Relationship at a Time“. LRCDC provides mental and behavioral health services for youth and families affected by violence, incarceration and other traumas. Founder Rev. Maurice Winley built the organization with a firm belief in the power of intervention, prevention and the importance of giving young New Yorkers a second chance. The work LRCDC does to invest in anti-violence and re-entry programs in the Harlem community provides young Black men the resources to grow into leaders in their community.

We’re honored to support grantees such as George Jackson Academy, Kings Against Violence Initiative and the Living Redemption Community Development Corporation as they continue to support the health and wellbeing of young Black men and address negative outcomes to ensure all communities in New York have access to the resources they deserve.

To learn more about the organizations, please visit their websites: