The BLMA Manhood Development Academy is an elective for-credit course currently offered in four MPS schools. A positive racial/ethnic identity is a factor for resilience for young men of color. Current literature (Neblett, Rivas-Drake, and Umaña-Taylor, 2012; Sellers et al., 2006) suggests that when students of color internalize a sense of pride about their racial/ethnic identity, they will be more likely to:
- Feel connected to school
- Experience positive mental health
- Have positive relationships in life
- Overcome stereotype threat
- Succeed academically
The content of the course promotes positive racial/ethnic identity by using culturally relevant materials and text as well as incorporating the BLMA Twelve Guiding Principles for our young men to live by. As a school district, we owe it to our young men to provide an environment where they can explore, validate, and affirm their identity. This course is intended to foster leadership within our young men and help improve the overall culture and climate of their schools.
Neblett, E. W., Rivas-Drake, D., & Umaña-Taylor, A. J. (2012). The Promise of Racial and Ethnic Protective Factors in Promoting Ethnic Minority Youth Development. Child Development Perspectives 6(3), 295–303. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-8606.2012.00239.x
Sellers, R. M., Copeland-Linder, N., Martin, P. P., & L’ Heureux Lewis, R. (2006). Racial identity matters: The relationship between racial discrimination and psychological functioning in Black adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 16(2), 187–216.