In 2014, former City Councilor Tito Jackson attempted to form a Commission on Black Males in Boston. Unfortunately, the “other side” of five did not support it.
After the transition of the Walsh Administration, in 2021, Mayor Kim Janey (the first Black Female Mayor of Boston), signed an order to create the Commission on Black Male Advancement. Some may refer to it as the Office of Black Male Advancement.
Today, during the first 100 days of the Wu Administration, Mayor Wu just announced the new Executive Director, Mr. Frank Farrow, long-time community leader and activist from Roxbury. At today’s press conference, former Councilor Jackson referred to Frank as “a brother who deserves to be in this role, whose qualified to be in this role”.
Jackson went on to say:
“I am very excited that Frank Farrow, Roxbury Resident, Community Leader and a Father from our community will be the first Executive Director of the Office of Black Male Advancement. Frank’s life experience, a strong toolbox of skills and network means that we will hit the ground running toward our goal of equity, opportunity, and a thriving city for Black men rather than a place where we simply seek to survive. I am very excited and convinced that our best days are ahead of us, with this new leadership we are on the right path.”
Frank Farrow shared his passionate thoughts below:
Mr. Farrow said that “I am honored and excited to lead the Office for Black Male Advancement, and to continue to uplift Black men and boys under Mayor Michelle Wu’s administration,” said Frank Farrow, Executive Director of the Office for Black Male Advancement. “As a Boston native, I understand the persistent social and economic inequities facing Black people. I look forward to the opportunity of working with the Black Men and Boys Commission to ensure that the City’s policies, programs, and resources align with the Mayor’s bold vision for a more equitable Boston.”
Mayor Wu stated;
“I’m excited for Frank’s leadership in ensuring that our City’s policies and programs are truly connected with and supporting Black men and boys across each of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am grateful to Councilor Mejia, former Councilor Tito Jackson, and so many community advocates for their work to establish the Black Men & Boys commission. As we work to make Boston a city for everyone, I encourage passionate, dedicated individuals to apply to serve on this critical commission.”
The construct of the Commission:
The Commission will be housed within the Mayor’s Office For Black Male Advancement and consist of 21 members. The Mayor will appoint 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 members of this Commission will include seven members who will serve two-year terms, seven members who will serve three-year terms, and seven members who will serve four-year terms. One two-year term member and one three-year member shall be youth members.
The duties of the Commission:
- Advising the Mayor on issues pertaining to Black men and boys
- Assisting the Office of the Mayor in determining budget and policy priorities
- Monitoring and advising City agencies and departments on issues pertaining to Black men and boys
- Designing projects and programs that promote equity for Black men and boys which are not currently being implemented by existing City agencies
- Performing outreach, communication, and liaison to Black men and boys related to community groups and organizations
- Working with the Department of Intergovernmental Relations concerning state and federal legislation and programs that are of concern to Black men and boys
- Working with the Office of Civil Rights to assure that Black men and boys are represented at all levels of City government
- Coordinating dialogues and action on behalf of City government to issues of concern to Black men and boys and related organizations, including but not limited to: concerns related to national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity, mental, physical, and sexual health, violence prevention, employment, and more
- During the first year of its existence, the Commission shall hold monthly meetings, give updates to the City Council on a quarterly basis, and produce an annual report
- After the first year of its existence, the Commission shall produce an annual report
Information about the office, and the application can be found below:
See the full announcement below: