Forward Promise Tackles Dehumanization and Systemic Racism in Limited ‘The Way Forward’ Series

Updated: Jan 3

Limited Series Examines Racism & More

Trauma is something few Americans can truly escape, especially Black Americans. With communities of color facing historical and systemic hurdles, trauma particularly affects our youth. Forward Promise, a national initiative, addresses the effects of these issues on boys and young men of color.

With a national office in Huntsville, Alabama, Forward Promise is dedicated to creating culturally responsive programs and solutions. Acknowledging the impact of systemic racism on Black men in America, Forward Promise facilitates grants and other funding opportunities for organizations that ensure some of those hurdles are removed for a new generation of young men, while also fostering supportive networks and relationships.

This initiative pushes public systems to understand dehumanization and how it appears in their policies and practices, and beyond that, it demands change from those systems.In describing their work, Forward Promise Director Dr. Rhonda Bryant says, “We are so proud of the work our grantees are doing across the country to support boys and young men of color as they heal, grow, and thrive. Black boys and other young men of color in our funded programs are being given safe spaces in which to learn, process, and interrogate their worlds. They are healing from the wounds that dehumanization inflicts — the shame, the anger, the sadness that sometimes comes from being mistreated for their Blackness. The programs we fund become their place to grow strong. Then they become the leaders in their communities to strengthen their peers, to push back on dehumanization and to contribute to making their communities whole again.”

The concept of dehumanization is nothing new, but it takes acknowledgment to even begin dismantling such a system. Looking to build on their existing efforts, Forward Promise recently launched a five-part web series, “The Way Forward: A Webcast Series on Disrupting Dehumanization,” designed to examine the ways in which racism and ongoing historical trauma have shaped our communities.


Read this story in full at Blavity | December 2020