In early 2017, Good Grid met with the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation to identify ways in which our two organizations could work together to address systemic issues of poverty here in Little Rock. During this encounter, the foundation’s Boys and Men Opportunity Success Team (BMOST) was mentioned. A discussion developed about the focus of BMOST and their need for a collaborative case management system for their numerous service providers. This led to a meeting between Good Grid and BMOST in May of 2018.
“We believe investment in creating pathways to opportunity and inclusion for boys and young men of color will improve the economic and civil well-being of the entire state.” -WRF
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation set concrete goals for increasing prosperity and educational attainment, strengthening communities, and building the nonprofit infrastructure. One piece of these goals for Arkansas is committing to action for boys and men of color. Their investment is focused on “creating a seamless pipeline of support for African American, Latino, and low-income males from communities to college campuses.”[i] The foundation has partnered with several colleges and community-based organizations to provide services for students in K-12 grades, young men at the collegiate level, and men in the workforce. You can read more about the foundation’s work on Moving the Needle by reading their Impact Brief: Marginalized Males Workforce and Education Consortium.
BMOST is a consortium of organizations dedicated to building a better narrative around boys and men of color in central Arkansas. They currently work with upwards of 15 community-based organizations who deliver services to boys and men of color. They offer support and guidance to these organizations in an effort to build capacity, tell a better story, increase resources, and network to build the movement centered on boys and men of color in central Arkansas.
Dr. Rachel E. Tennial, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Knowledge Management Leader for BMOST says that “BMOST affords me the opportunity to make a tangible and positive impact in the lives of people like my nephews. My hope is that the work and good we do here in central Arkansas will spread throughout the state and in some way better the lives of those near and far, like my nephews.”
“The BMOST (Boys and Men Opportunity Success Team) and Good Grid collaboration has been an alignment of hearts and minds working to improve outcomes for youth in Central Arkansas.” – Lisa Dixon, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Program Associate & Board Liaison
BMOST partnered with Good Grid to build a kindergarten-through-career platform that connects with youth-serving organizations, college educators, and the City of Little Rock for more effective collection and usage of outcomes and related data. The Good Grid platform will also enable program staff at these partner entities to use that data to assess and improve interventions to prepare boys and men of color for success in college and the workplace.
Of the 15+ organizations connected to BMOST, three specific service providers were chosen to participate in this pilot with Good Grid: Bridge 2 Success, the OK Program, and Life Skills for Youth. Benefits of this collaboration include:
We know that continual assessment and data collection are key to identifying needs in all communities. The diagram below illustrates how Good Grid intends to work in concert with LRSD, BMOST, and the three community-based organizations to create better outcomes for our boys and men of color.
If you are an organization that serves boys and men of color in central Arkansas and want to get connected to BMOST and Good Grid, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501.687.2346.
Or log onto to www.goodgrid.com, make an account, and see for yourself all the things we have to offer and how you can make a difference in someone’s life!