BMOC“We are more than a statistic” is the motto for the “Boys And Men Of Color”- a local group in, but not exclusive to, Sacramento. BMOC is an organization of young men of color who rally together in order to make a difference in one another’s lives. They believe that through a community-based effort along with education, workshops, music, spoken word, etc, that they will be able to help youth of color who may need some sense of direction in their life. As an  excerpt from one of their youth application reads, “The purpose of the summit is to create system change by mobilizing young people and inspire dialogue between youth activists and local leaders regarding the development of a community action plan to improve health, safety and educational outcomes for Boys and Men of Color in the Sacramento area.”

Through the California Endowment and other local youth and educational activists and leaders, the Boys and Men of Color is hosting  their 5th annual Summit meeting in order to help continue to spread their ideals and make their goals become a reality. On July 21st held at California State University Sacramento at “The Well”, local community leaders will be there in order to help make that change. On the News & Information section of Sacramento State’s Library website Dr. Vanessa Sheared, Dean of Sacramento State’s College of Education talks about how “The Boys and Men of Color conference will provide young Latino and African American males with the opportunity to engage in dialogue about issues and concerns impacting them and their abilities to pursue academic and career goals.”

“We will introduce (visitors) to BMOC statistics and work to make them leaders in their schools and communities,” says organizer and 4th year student at Sacramento State University, Luis Gurrero. “We honestly hope to change them.”

The event is free and will be coming up very shortly. For those interested in the event, whether you wish to be a youth attendee or a mentor, you can click on the Boys and Men of Color event page on Facebook.com and follow the links provided for further instruction here.

Although it may seem to some as if young men of color not having a proper education or being incarcerated may not be such an issue, the statistics on this anomaly when compared to dropout rates or incarceration rates of young males who are white seems pretty alarming. In a 2014 study from pewresearch.org in an article titled “Chart Of The Week: Black-White Gap In Incarceration Rates” there are a plethora of information detailing how young men of color, especially without an education, have had higher incarceration rates.

“While institutionalization rates rose for both blacks and whites from 1980 to 2000, it was especially sharp among the less educated black men – rising from 10% in 1980 for those ages 20 to 24 to 30% in 2000,”  says researchers Derek Neal and Armin Rick.  You can find the full version of the article right here.

If you’re a firm believer of community based action and care about helping to make a change in our system and to educate young males of color, the Boys and Men of Color Summit is right up your alley.