RISE for Boys and Men of Color

About RISE

RISE for Boys and Men of Color is a $10 million field advancement effort that aims to better understand and strategically improve the lives, experiences, and outcomes of boys and men of color in the United States. RISE spans five fields (education, health, human services and social policy, juvenile and criminal justice, and workforce development) and focuses on four populations (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans).

RISE Principles | RISE Activities | Funders | Co-Conveners | Advisory Board

RISE Principles

Ten principles were used to construct a RISE theory of change and develop its strategic activities. These principles respond to longstanding needs, challenges, and opportunities in academic research, community-based and youth-serving organizations, government and policymaking venues, and media.

  1. Narrative Change – moving beyond hopeless, criminalized, deficit-oriented, and racist misrepresentations of boys and men of color.
  2. Primary, Gender-Specific Focus on Boys and Men of Color – bringing greater clarity to the gender-specific needs and issues of boys and men of color, which necessarily entails determining what distinguishes the experiences of girls and women of color.
  3. Balanced Treatment of Racial and Ethnic Groups – expanding what is known about Black boys and men, while devoting considerably more attention to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and Native Americans. 
  4. Interdisciplinarity – understanding the interconnectedness of systems and conditions that work together to support and cyclically disadvantage boys and men of color; recognizing, for example, that inequities in education and health are inextricably linked. 
  5. Intersectionality – recognizing how race intersects with socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, language, (dis)ability, religion, and a range of identities that boys and men of color possess and perform. 
  6. Disaggregated Data Analysis – analyzing data in more rigorous and responsible ways to highlight the unique needs, experiences, and outcomes of subgroups within each focal racial/ethnic group. 
  7. Networks and Collective Action bringing together networks of committed individuals and organizations to collaborate, share knowledge and effective strategies, leverage relationships and access to resources, and demonstrate solidarity in support of boys and men of color.
  8. Culturally Relevant, Authentic, Inclusive and Rigorous Evaluation – ensuring programs that serve boys and men of color are rigorously and appropriately assessed by scholars of color and other evaluators who deeply understand cultural contexts and appreciate viewpoints people of color offer. 
  9. Multiple Ways of Knowing – acknowledging that people of color are experts on their own experiences and appreciating various forms of knowledge, research and evaluation methods, and approaches to presenting evidence. 
  10. Structural, Systemic, and Policy Change – working to dismantle systems of oppression and institutionalized racism by strategically using research on boys and men of color to inform policymaking and philanthropy. 


    RISE Activities

    Community‐based organizations, educational institutions, and other entities have launched hundreds of initiatives across the U.S. focused on boys and men of color. Foundations have invested considerably in these initiatives, research studies, and evaluation projects. Despite this, life experiences and outcomes among boys and men of color remain largely unchanged; in some instances, they have worsened over time.

    In response to these problems and opportunities, RISE has six main activity categories:

    • Convening education, health, human services and social policy, juvenile and criminal justice, and workforce development researchers and evaluators to take stock of what is known and what remains to be known about Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, and Latino boys and men. At each convening, boys and men of color, families, community stakeholders, policymakers, and practitioners will help scholars identify urgent, culturally responsive research and evaluation needs. Scholars will be convened within and across the five fields.
    • Translating research and evaluation results from the five fields for policymakers, community stakeholders, journalists, and practitioners.
    • Maintaing a vibrant virtual community that unites evaluators and researchers across the five fields with each other and promotes learning and action by policymakers, community agents, and practitioners. This dynamic web portal will include an extensive, open-access library of research on boys and men of color, a national directory of experts on each ethnic group and in each field, occasional virtual community engagement forums, and numerous other resources.
    • Developing cohorts and communities of postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. students, and undergraduates of color to study boys and men of color and rigorously evaluate programs that serve them.
    • Identifying emerging solutions with and on behalf of boys and men of color. This will be done through the regranting of funds for new research studies, ideation challenges, and program evaluation and capacity-building efforts.
    • Disaggregating data by race, ethnicity, and sex for Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, and Latinas/os. Also creating new databases and data systems, while more finely disaggregating data within existing national data systems.





    The Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) and Equal Measure, a national evaluation and philanthropic services firm, co-lead RISE. Penn GSE Professor Shaun R. Harper and Sharon Norris-Shelton, Senior Director at Equal Measure, co-direct this field advancement effort.


    Advisory Board

    RISE benefits from the guidance and expertise of 14 advisory board members who represent some of the nation’s leading research, evaluation, and community engagement organizations. These board members have done considerable work on boys and men of color and conducted numerous evaluations of programs that serve them:

    Honorary Co-Chairs

    Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D.

    Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D.
    National Collaborative for Health Equity


    Margarita Alegría, Ph.D.
    Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research

    Sharon Davies, J.D.
    Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
    The Ohio State University

    Bonnie Duran, Dr.Ph.
    Center for Indigenous Health Research
    University of Washington

    Rachel Godsil, J.D.
    Perception Institute 

    Frank Harris III, Ed.D.
    Minority Male Community College Collaborative
    San Diego State University

    Arthur E. Hernandez, Ph.D.
    Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

    Rev. Alvin Herring
    PICO National Network 

    Marc Philpart, MPA

    Robert Teranishi, Ph.D.
    National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education

    Malia Villegas, Ed.D.
    National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center

    J. Luke Wood, Ph.D.
    Minority Male Community College Collaborative
    San Diego State University

    Hanh Cao Yu, Ph.D.
    Social Policy Research Associates