Creating a Campaign for Black Male Achievement: Building a Collective Impact Strategy to Support Black Male Achievement in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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CitationBurton, Dorian Orlando. 2015. Creating a Campaign for Black Male Achievement: Building a Collective Impact Strategy to Support Black Male Achievement in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThis capstone shows how I framed and enacted a collective impact strategy to build a campaign for African-American male achievement in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The project was anchored in TandemED, an initiative developed by me and my fellow Ed.L.D. cohort member, Brian Barnes. A core element of TandemED is creating targeted partnerships that are constructed by establishing integrated missions and collaborations within communities between individuals, families, organizations, and institutions and using these partnerships to implement a collective impact strategy. Therefore, my approach in Pittsburgh drew heavily on the science and art of creating and sustaining positive relational ties or social capital, while also having an appreciation for how these ties and capital are shaped by racial inequalities. As the extant literature suggests, a focus on race and its effects, more so than any other dimension of inequality, is pivotal to efforts designed to positively shape the challenging contours of life Black males in the U.S. almost unilaterally experience regardless of class. This approach makes sense because institutions and organizations that serve Black males (e.g., schools, nonprofits, local, state, and federal programs) often lack the capacity to redirect and innovate and frequently reflect siloed efforts that do not integrate economic, social, and educational programs and policies in ways that can lead to transformative change and the development of Black males. More importantly, the success of African-American males is inextricably linked to the success (e.g., social, economic and cultural) of the nation as a whole (American Psychological Association Task Force on Resilience and Strength in Black Children and Adolescents, 2008). In considering these issues, I developed and implemented a theory of action which involved building relational ties among institutions, organizations, families, and individuals in communities that extended to the creation of a collective impact strategy and actionable recommendations for advancing a new narrative for success for African-American males and the communities they live in.
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