Mayor de Blasio Announces New Members of The NYC Young Men's Initiative Advisory Board

February 3, 2016

NEW YORK - The de Blasio Administration today announced new members of the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) Advisory Board. Founded in 2011 to address the increasing economic and social disparities faced by black and Latino young men, YMI stands as a national leader in creating citywide strategies and programs to holistically support the success of and improve the quality of life for NYC’s young people of color.

The YMI Advisory Board is composed of a culturally and professionally diverse group of leaders from NYC’s public, private and philanthropic communities who will provide guidance, expertise and strategic support to advance YMI’s policy and programmatic initiatives throughout the city. 

“The members of the YMI Advisory Board understand the urgency around our public and private institutions working together on ways to support our young men of color, invest in their success, and close the gaps that prevent them from actively participating in and contributing to our society. I am confident that this Board will continue to advance the YMI mission, and will serve as an ambassador in sharing the message that we can and will improve the environments and experiences of Black and Latino young men throughout NYC,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

To date, through financial support from the City of New York, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Open Society Foundation, and cross-sector partnerships with City agencies and community organizations, YMI has achieved a number of policy and programmatic successes positively impacting the lives of young men of color and their families. YMI programs include citywide tutoring and mentoring initiatives such as Reading Rescue in partnership with the Department of Education and the Literacy Trust, Inc.; the Mentoring Initiative in partnership with NYC Service; expansion of the CUNY Fatherhood Academy to two additional campuses; and most recently, NYC Men Teach, an initiative to recruit, train and retain 1,000 men of color to become teachers in NYC public schools within the next three years.

“For us to have meaningful dialogue and concerted action that improves the lives of our city’s young men of color, we must understand what’s at stake. Each member appointed to the YMI Board knows that it’s not only the future of these young men at risk, but the future of our city. I’m excited to work with the YMI board on strategies that get beneath the surface of the issues our black and Latino men are facing and into solutions that will significantly change their lives and our city for the better,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery.

Recently, YMI realigned its priorities to focus on strengthening the local ecosystems that support and engage Black and Latino young men. These priorities include housing, employment, education, mentoring and fatherhood, health and justice.

“If we’re going to make a meaningful dent in the day-to-day realities of our young people within the City, we must meet them where they are,” said Cyrus Garrett, YMI Executive Director.  “Our Advisory Board members are experts at making data-based decisions about how to serve, empower and communicate with young people of color, as well as how to engage policymakers in making the necessary reforms that contribute to the disparities we see today.”

“Our challenge – to make sustainable improvements for the young people we serve – is great and we need all partners on deck. Change doesn’t occur in silos. It occurs through the collective effort of the determined. We are fortunate to have such an esteemed Board, and are looking forward to what our collective efforts produce,” said Ifeoma Ike, YMI Deputy Executive Director.

The following are new members of the YMI Advisory Board:

DWAYNE ASHLEY, VP of Development, Jazz at Lincoln Center
PLINIO AYALA, Executive Director, Per Scholas
SONIA BHUTA, Executive Director, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!)
KEVIN CHAVERS, Chairman, Bed-Stuy Restoration Corp/Managing Director, Black Rock Financial
DR. ANGELA DIAZ, Director, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center
DR. EDDIE FERGUS, Assistant Professor, NYU
DR. MARILU GALVAN, Executive Director, Centro Civic Cultural Dominicano
DR. RAMON M. GONZALEZ, Principal, The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology
DR. MARK GONZALEZ, Executive Director, Aspira
DR. ROBERT GORE, Executive Director, Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI)
RODERICK JENKINS, Senior Program Officer, NY Community Trust
NICOLE RODRIGUEZ LEACH, Vice President, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
DR. MOHAMMAD RAHMAN, President, Jamaica Muslim Center
EDDIE SILVERIO, Director of Alianza Services, Catholic Charities
LINDA RODRÍGUEZ TÉZEN, Executive Director, The Fellowship Initiative, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Global Philanthropy
SAUNDRA P. THOMAS, Vice-President of Community Affairs, WABC-TV
REV. KHADER EL-YATEEM, Lead Pastor, Salaam Arabic Church

The following are members who will continue to serve on the YMI Advisory Board:

JENNIFER JONES AUSTIN, Chief Executive Officer, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
DAVID BANKS, President, Eagle Academy Foundation
HECTOR BATISTA, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters
ROGER BLISSETT, General Counsel, RBC Capital Markets
GRACE BONILLA, Executive Director, Committee for Hispanic Children
REV. DR. DEMETRIUS CAROLINA, Executive Director, Central Life Family Center
SHAWN DOVE, Manager, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Open Society Foundation
HECTOR CORDERO GUZMAN, Professor, Baruch College
ANA OLIVEIRA, President, New York Women’s Foundation
JOANNE PAGE, President and CEO, The Fortune Society
WILLIAM SCHROEDER, Pipeline Project / Senior Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell
KIM SWEET, Executive Director, Advocates for Children
KHARY LAZARRE-WHITE, CEO & Founder, Brotherhood/Sisterhood Sol
SHEENA WRIGHT, President and CEO, United Way of New York City
REV. DR. ALFONSO WYATT, Pastor, The Greater Allen Cathedral A.M.E


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