Members of the Black Men and Boys Commission Announced
In her ongoing efforts to make Boston a city for everyone, today Mayor Michelle Wu announced the members of the Black Men & Boys Commission made up of community leaders, experts and residents throughout the city’s neighborhoods. The Commission will be directly engaging with community members to address concerns through public meetings and a planned listening tour.
“This group of leaders, community members, and visionaries are here to serve the City of Boston and everyone in our communities,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We’re especially proud to be here today on Malcolm X’s birthday. This office carries his legacy and the legacy of many Black activists who dedicated their lives to justice no matter the cost. This commission will be community grounded and community oriented.”
“The Black Men and Boys Commission is crucial in ensuring the City’s policies, programs and resources align with Mayor Wu’s vision for a more equitable Boston,” said Frank Farrow, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Advancement. “I’m excited to start working with the Commission and encourage all residents to engage with us as we collectively work to improve outcomes for Black men and boys in our city.”
In 2021, a city ordinance, sponsored by City Councilor At-Large Julia Mejia, was passed to create a commission to study and address issues facing Boston’s Black men and boys. Later, Mayor Kim Janey signed the ordinance establishing Boston’s first Black Men and Boys Commission. A similar commission was first proposed in 2014 by former District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson, which received support from the City Council. The commission will advise the Mayor on issues pertaining to Black men and boys and be tasked with implementing projects and programs in City agencies that promote equity.
"The Black Men and Boys Commission, under the leadership of Executive Director Frank Farrow, will be an essential part of our mission in the Equity & Inclusion cabinet,” said Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity & Inclusion. “As we transform city practices, we will continue to seek the advice and accountability of community leaders who want to see the City of Boston reach its full potential. Looking forward to this partnership!"
The Commission will be housed within the Mayor’s Office For Black Male Advancement and consist of 21 members. Mayor Wu appointed seven members who are experts on issues facing Black men and boys in Boston, seven members from fourteen nominees with experience or knowledge on issues facing Black men and boys in Boston submitted by the City Council, and seven members from a pool of applicants with experience or knowledge on issues facing Black men and boys in Boston.
The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 6 p.m. at the Bruce C. Bolling Building in Nubian Square. Following the June meeting, the Commission will meet on the first Wednesday of every month at the Bolling Building in Nubian Square. All Commission meetings will be open to the public, press and posted online at the BMA website. For more information, please contact the BMA office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This July and August, the Commission will engage in a community listening tour to gather primary data about the issues facing Black men and boys from residents across Boston’s neighborhoods. In January 2023, the Commission will produce an annual report with a series of analyses and recommendations with the goal of driving forward the City’s work to improve outcomes for Black men and boys in Boston.
"As a proud advocate and honorary member of this long-overdue commission, I am so invigorated by the incredible group of leaders and experts across our city who will listen to community and uplift policies that will serve to advance and empower our Black men and boys,” said City Councilor Brian Worrell. “I am looking forward to the first meeting and the critical work this commission will do to address the needs of our Black male peers in Boston.
“I am humbled to join the Black Men and Boys Commission,” said Maddrey Goode, Black Men and Boys Commission Member. “As a life-long resident of Roxbury, ensuring that Black men and youth have access to equitable opportunities is of the utmost importance to me. My focus is to help build a better Boston that focuses not just on diversity and inclusion, but most importantly equity for our present and future Black citizens, leaders, and generations.”
“I’m excited to join the commission to pay forward the support that has been poured into me by other black men and amplify organizations that are already uplifting Black men and boys,” said Abdullah Beckett, Black Men and Boys Commission Member. “My experience as President of My Brother’s Keeper at UMass Boston has shown me that Black excellence is abundant, however, no one can succeed alone. Success comes from a collective effort, an ideology that I have led MBK at UMass Boston with and will carry forward with this Commission.”
- Tito Jackson* - Former District 7 City Councilor & Original Sponsor of the Ordinance
- Louis Elisa* - Chair of Garrison-Trotter Neighborhood Association
- Jeff Similien* - Founder of Kings Amongst Kings
- Devin Morris* - Founder of the Teacher’s Lounge
- James Mackey* - Founder of Brother’s Building
- James Hills* - Host of JavawithJimmy
- Kurt Faustin* - Founder of Drop Out Academy
- James Morton - CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston
- Joseph Feaster Jr - Of Counsel at McKenzie & Associates, former President of the Boston branch of the NAACP
- Sean Perryman-Futrell - Tech Boston Student
- Abdullah Beckett- UMass Boston Student, Chair of MBK-Umass Boston
- Tony Brewer- Community Advocate, Black Men’s Committee member
- Piter Brandao - Co-Founder of MBK617
- Matt Parker- Executive Director, Union of Minority Neighborhoods
- Maddrey Goode - Director, MassHire Boston
- Tony Richards - Vice President of Equitable Business Development, MassHousing
- Andre Barbour - Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, NEI and WORC2
- Richard Harris- Associate Dean of Diversity programs and Director of MultiCultural Engineering at Northeastern, Chair of Concerned Black Men
- Darien Johnson - Policy Lead, Black Economic Council of Massachusetts
- Imari Jeffries - Executive Director, King Boston
- Charlie Titus - Former Vice Chancellor, UMass Boston
* Selected from the Boston City Council recommendations
About Mayor’s Office of Black Male Advancement
The Office of Black Male Advancement works to empower Black men & boys and to ensure they have equitable access to opportunities in the City. The Office also focuses on policies, programs, resources, and local and national partnerships. Additionally, BMA directs and supports the efforts of the Black Men and Boys Commission and My Brother’s Keeper Boston. For more information, please visit the BMA website.