This post was written by Mynome Lorde, Black Males Partnership VISTA for the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement
Closing the opportunity divide for men and boys of color.
The Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement (OBME) is committed to closing the opportunity divide for men and boys of color by striving to better the communities where they live in, and reduce the economic and social disparities that affect them.
According to the Brotherly Love Health Report, in Philadelphia roughly 23% of Black men and boys live in poverty. This staggering statistic exists because of the many gaps of service and opportunity. To ensure residents are aware of the many resources and services available, we noticed a need for an interactive, user- friendly finder that will empower residents to find and enlist city and community programs.
We are excited to launch our Black Male Resource Finder, which will enable Philadelphia residents to access City and community resources more effectively through a digital platform. This finder houses the contact information of city agencies, Black owned businesses, community organizations, programs, services, resources and community stakeholders that provide support for Black males in Philadelphia. It also serves as a bridge to connect residents to workforce opportunities, legal services, health and wellness resources, fatherhood and parenting supports, community anti-violence groups, and much more.
We want this digital tool to serve as an interactive resource for our community to discover and enroll in programs and services committed to helping Black males in the city.
Our Black Male Partnership VISTA had the opportunity to research and connect with an array of organizations and resources that specifically help Black men and boys in the city.
OBME and the Mayor’s Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) partnered to create an interactive, user-friendly resource finder that can be accessed via our website.
The finder is divided into specific focus areas such as anti-violence programs, health and wellness, fatherhood and parenting support, and many more. Within each focus area, the organizations are in alphabetical order with their name, address, phone number, and website. We also included an interactive map that shows the specific location of each organization within the city.
Our role as an office in the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement (OPE) is to provide and facilitate opportunities for our communities to engage their local government and ensure that our engagement is measurable. In order to close the opportunity gap for Black men and boys, we must build the bridges to these resources and continue to ensure that our impact is far more than a one-time experience.