How are we bringing the change?

This is a 5-year project that has come together through the leadership of Boys to Men Tucson, Goodwill Youth Re-Engagement Centers of Southern Arizona, Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, and the Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona through the support of the David and Lura Lovell Foundation and Vitalyst Health Foundation.

To effect the change we need, we focus on:

Increasing accessibility to mentorship & masculinity

Through Title 1 schools—beginning with Tucson Unified (TUSD) and Sunnyside Unified (Sunnyside) school districts—and within Juvenile Justice, with a plan to expand into other school districts in the county, as well as other strategic, high-need places.

Systems & policy change

Systems & policy change within these school districts and Juvenile Justice: including increasing evidence-based training with staff and administrators related to masculinity, trauma, and mentorship; and piloting programs that incorporate restorative, community-based justice practices in places of many current punitive practices that aggravate harm for BIPOC boys and have demonstrated links to the school-to-prison pipeline

Expand the capacity

Expand the capacity and broaden the demography of masculine-identified adult stakeholders devoted to intergenerational work in Tucson. This includes collaborating with county organizers around re-entry work to address the long-term issue that many black and brown men are barred from intergenerational masculinity and mentorship work due to having a criminal record.

Our goal is to truly transform the conditions in our communities

Most of year one has been focused on building the internal infrastructure of this Initiative, as we hired our Initiative Director, Mariah Harvey. Harvey oversees and coordinates this collective impact initiative, working with partners from allied organizations and community partners to advance on our goals. 

One of our biggest accomplishments this year has been the significant programmatic expansion of Boys to Men Tucson, offering high-impact weekly talking circles between trained adult men and teen boys in Title 1 schools. Community partners from many different organizations and areas have worked with BTM to adapt this programming model so that they could begin to focus support on their masculine-identified youth and adults. Our goal is to use the flexible and scalable program model to adapt it to new community partners and spaces as we grow the capacity of our communities to hold and foster this work.