About Black Male Achievement

Black Male Achievement Portland (BMA) is designed to assist City leaders in their efforts to improve the life outcomes of Black men and boys. BMA will help improve the life outcomes of Black men and boys in four key areas: Education, Employment, Family Stability, and Criminal Justice.


Every Black male will have opportunity and access to health, safety, and success.


As a collaborative, the BMA will promote the beliefs and remove barriers that improve access to high quality and equitable employment, education, public safety, and communities.


To accomplish this mission, BMA will act as a convener, facilitator, policy guide, and collective voice to obtain data, push for policy change, increase program scale, and exert influence to create awareness and change for the betterment of Black men and boys.

Institutionalization of the Work

To help ensure that the work is not subject to a particular political individual or philosophy, the BMA will be housed in the Office of Equity and Human Rights. This office currently sits within the Mayor’s portfolio. This may change in future administrations, but the work will be embedded within the office and be less subject to political philosophies or considerations.

Steering Committee

Mike Alexander, former Executive Director, Urban League of Portland

Brian Detman, ‎Executive Director, Caldera Arts

Dondrae Fair, Gang Intervention Specialist

Tony Hopson, President, Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI)

Erious Johnson, Jr., Principal at Harmon Johnson, LLC

Joe McFerrin II, President, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC)

Clifford C. Meeks, ND, LAc, MPH, Professor and Assistant Coordinator, Sylvania Multicultural Center, Portland Community College

Kevin Modica, Legislative Assistant, Senator Lew Frederick

Kory Murphy, Senior HR Analyst, Multnomah County

Justice Rajee, Elevate Program Manager, Portland Opportunities for Industrialization Center (POIC)

Walter Robinson II, Principal, WLR Consulting

Nathaniel Williams, Founder/Executive Director, Unify Portland

Cupid Alexander, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Mayor Ted Wheeler

Royal Harris, Father Involvement Coordinator, Multnomah County Health Department

Andrew Campbell, Policy Specialist, Multnomah County Health Department REACH Program

Learn more about Black Male Achievement

What is Black Male Achievement Portland?

The City of Portland was selected as one of 11 cities to participate in the National League of Cities’ Black Male Achievement Initiative to improve outcomes for Black men and boys.

Black Male Achievement Portland (BMA) is designed to work across public and private sectors and among jurisdictions to help improve the life outcomes of Black men and boys in four key areas: Education, Employment, Family Stability, and Criminal Justice.

Housed in the Office of Equity and Human Rights within Mayor Charlie Hales’ portfolio, BMA works with officials in Multnomah County government, as well as with for-profit and non-profit entities to create access to jobs and mentoring.

What is it going to do?

BMA will engage officials at the state and local levels to advocate for policy and/or program change. BMA will use a data-driven approach to highlight disparities and hold systems and their leaders accountable for ensuring Black men and boys have sufficient access and opportunity to the factors that lead to health, safety, and success.

Next steps for Black Male Achievement Portland include: continuing to engage all community stakeholders and municipal leaders; advocating for community based solutions that effectively serve Black men and boys; and informing policies locally and statewide that impact Black men and boys.

Why focus exclusively on Black men and boys?

There is a window punctuated by President Obama’s announcement on February 4, 2014 of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to begin this area of work in focusing on Black men and boys. Black males face unique and persistent systemic barriers that demand a focused, holistic response. Their plight is a piece of larger conversation around the need to develop a more comprehensive strategy around racial and gender inequity. As BMA concentrates its efforts on breaking down the barriers facing Black men and boys in the areas of education, employment, family stability, and criminal justice, all communities will benefit and momentum around a broader strategy will emerge.

How does this intersect with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative?

The City of Portland is a signatory on the national My Brother’s Keeper initiative. The work of Black Male Achievement Portland is acknowledged by the White House as working in tandem with My Brother’s Keeper.

How is it different than other Black organizations?

BMA Portland is a collective of over 20 regional organizations represented by Black men that will act as convener, facilitator, policy guide, and collective voice to exert influence and push for change for the betterment of Black men and boys.

How is BMA funded?

Mayor Hales has committed $150,000 of funding in addition to monies that were set aside to fund summer youth employment. Additionally, BMA is having on-going discussions with philanthropic organizations.

Are you a young Black man who wants to build your skills, network, résumé, and community? Join us for the Summer Youth Experience.

The Summer Youth Experience is a supplement to SummerWorks. If you participate in this program every Friday during your internship you will join other Black young men at locations such as Nike, Intel, Wieden + Kennedy, and ZGF Architects.

There you will experience what it is like to be a designer for Nike, an engineer for Intel, or an Architect at ZGF.

You will also lead your community by identifying an issue critical to Black success, creating solutions to that issue, and organizing a community event to solve join the movement towards resolving that issue.

Registration Instructions:

1. Complete your SummerWorks Application here.

2. Designate CJ Robbins as someone who can view your application status so we can support you through the application process and contact you with next steps about our first session in July!

My Brother's Keeper

National Blueprint for Action Six

National League of Cities


Jeff Selby

Deputy Director/Communications Manager