The Think Tank for African American Progress – to be held in Memphis from October 14 to October 16, 2009 – seeks solutions to challenges confronting Black boys and young men. We are inviting scholars, activists, and advocates to join us for the 2009 Think Tank with the theme “What is the Future of Black Boys?”. Practitioners, community activists, and researchers whose efforts are related to the following thematic areas are especially invited to submit a solutions’ proposal in relevant to one of the 4 areas: (1) Health; (2) Education/Youth Development; (3) Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics; and (4) Community/Economic Development.
The Think Tank will feature opportunities for practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and, Black youth themselves to dialogue about solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, think about strategies to resolve these challenges, and design methods in which to implement solutions to challenges.
Those who wish to participate in the Think Tank should submit a 750 – 1000 word abstract detailing a specific challenge facing black boys and young men, along with an outline of suggested solutions. The abstract should outline a specific solution for an issue in one of the previously mentioned areas; include a rationale for the solution, and strategy that the target audience (i.e., practitioners, parents, educators, policy makers, etc.) could implement. In addition, applicants should identify their role in the implementation of the proposed solutions. First authors of accepted proposals will receive free registration to the Think Tank to present their paper in a poster presentation. Furthermore, there will be publication and collaboration opportunities from the Think Tank.
Solutions for Health includes but are not limited to:
• Resolutions to the social determinants of black boys/young men’s health. Under this rubric, we welcome a wide array of proposals, including models of interventions programs within a variety of settings (e.g., schools, churches, community based organizations, juvenile justice, etc)
• Assessments of black boys/young men’s access to health care. We will entertain proposals on innovative responses to under-utilization of health services, as well as ways to redefine proper utilization of services.
• Explorations of under examined areas. We are keenly interested in areas such as oral health, risky sexual behavior, and dangerous driving among young black men)...
- Social determinants of health and well-being
- Psychological and mental health
- Health-promoting interventions
- Community and interpersonal violence
- Access to health care services
- Improving health consciousness and health behaviors
- Interpersonal and family health
- Health literacy
- Public health policy
- Oral health
- Sex and sexuality
- Personal safety and risk-taking behavior
Solutions for Education and Youth Development includes but is not limited to:
• Solutions addressing the social contexts that inspire and influence black boys’ educational achievement. Under this theme, we are interested in work addressing the core, contested areas of black boys/young men’s development (e.g. the role of schools, parents, and administrators).
• Investigations of the interaction between educational achievement and other indicators of well being. We are especially interested in solutions that speak to the impact of individual health and parental health on black boys’ achievement.
We are interested in solutions that explore state policies regarding charter and public school partnerships and other innovations to improve educational outcomes.
• Considerations of multi-level effects. We welcome strategic action plans regarding issues of environment such as crime and safety.
Solutions for Technology
· Solutions that address the challenges for Black boys to participate in ‘Green jobs and careers’.
· Explorations in creative methods to encourage African American boys to pursue education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M).
· Evaluation of educational and public policy that impact Black boys participation in and use of advanced technologies.
Solutions for Community and Economic Development includes but is not limited to:
- Solutions that go beyond brick and mortar answers to economic development obstacles. We welcome a wide range of approaches in this section, and are especially interested in solutions that integrate Black boys/young men’s existing cultural assets into the discussion of economic development.
- Solutions to address the such challenges as prisoner re-entry policy and interventions, community gardening, and other aspects of building healthy communities.
- Explorations of viable ways to ensure continued community thriving. In this area, we are interested in studies of successful communities and/or community organizations that can serve as models for other groups.
- Evaluations of public policy initiatives intended to stimulate community and economic development. We will consider formal, applied program evaluations as well as papers that integrate a theoretical perspective to better inform concrete, governmental practices.
Proposals are due August 15 and those accepted for the Think Tank will be
Notified by August 21st. For more information contact Dr. Leon D. Caldwell at 901-843-3247 or visit www.thinktankforprogress.org.