Strategic Network E-Newsletter 
 November 2016


It was great to see so many new faces at the recent HomeGrown STL Networking Breakfast focusing on effective strategies for engaging black boys and young men. We are excited to continue growing our strategic network of organizations and individuals in St. Louis city and county who are passionate and dedicated to serving black boys and young men. 

As our nation changes with the upcoming shift in administration, HomeGrown STL continues to strive to support communities of color through examining race, opportunity, and social mobility with an emphasis on informing policies, interventions, and intra-professional practice. To find out more how to get involved visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter


Upcoming Events HomeGrown STL and the Brown School will be hosting several events this fall for network members. Please join us! 

Professional Development Grant The Brown School will be hosting several professional development events in the spring that are open to our network members. See recent email for additional details on how to apply to attend these workshops for free. Applications are due by January 6, 2017.

News and Research Keep updated with news and evidence-based research and best practices.

During our networking breakfast on October 28, 2016, Halbert Sullivan highlighted some key essentials for effectively engaging young black male fathers. Some of the key essentials include: (1) building trust (2) being consistent in one's actions, (3) assisting black males with exploring their values, and (4) moving barriers that might prevent them from being active and involved in their child’s life.

Robert Motley presented information on community policing among Black males in America that result in police use of force. Some of the implications from his research suggest that additional studies examining the impact of direct and indirect exposure to police use of force on the well-being of black males and their families is warranted. In addition, practitioners should seek to provide black males with a safe space to discuss their experiences with police use of force and link them to resources (i.e. mental health services, legal services, and support groups) when needed.

Some of the ideas raised by participants centered on the need to examine the impact of toxic stress and community trauma on the mental wellness, resilience, and self-care practices of black boys and young men.  
Top: Halbert Sullivan, CEO of the Father's Support Center, discussing key essentials for effectively engaging young black male fathers. Left: Dr. Sean Joe speaking at the October Networking Breakfast. 
Right: Robert Motley, Ph.D. student and Lab Manager of the Race & Opportunity Lab, discussing his work on community policing.


Black Owned on Black Friday - Pop Up Market
Friday November 25, 2016 | 6:00pm-10:00pm
Check out the Facebook event for more information.

Institute for Public Health Conference: Mental Health is Public Health
Tuesday November 29, 2016 | 8:00am-1:00pm
 Eric P. Newman Education Center | Register on EventBrite here.

Gun Violence Panel
Tuesday November 29, 2016 | 7:00pm-9:00pm
 Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis 
Check out the Facebook event for more information.

Strengthening Regional Capscity to Better Serve: Examining the State of Opportunities for Black Boys and Young Men in the St. Louis Region 
Thursday February 9, 2017 | 8:00am-3:30pm
Clark-Fox Forum, Hillman Hall at the Brown School
Early Registration: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Let us know if you're coming on Facebook!

Register here for the HomeGrown STL February Summit


Better Family Life recently unveiled the largest black history mural at their community center in north St. Louis after three years in the making. The executive director said the mural, "represents an accurate telling of our history. It represents our history being told from our perspective. It represents a vision for the future. It represents a vision of Page Boulevard.” To read more about the mural read this recent St. Louis American article and to learn more about Better Family Life visit their website

HomeGrown STL wants to spotlight you and the impactful work that your organization is doing in St. Louis city and county! If you are interested in promoting what you're doing in the community, send us with a brief explanation of your organization or program, a recent success story, and any pictures that you would like included to share your success. 

Email with the subject line "Network Member Spotlight" by January 10th to ensure that you're included in next month's newsletter. 


African and African-American studies is set to become a full department with the Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Transitioning the African and African-American studies program to an entire department is highlighting the shift towards a more inclusive environment at the university.

Imprisoned as teens and now free, two men speak out for change in juvenile system. These men are members of the Free Minds Book Club and are part of the The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ)'s October campaign, which asks people to take action by sharing their stories so that others can understand the importance of juvenile justice issues. They promote rehabilitating youth through physical and educational programs, rather than incarceration in prison-like facilities.

The Fight for Black Men and Boys: What’s trauma got to do with it? "Exposure to violence, extreme poverty, maltreatment, indiscriminate suspensions and being funneled through a school to prison pipeline are not just unfortunate realities. They are traumatic experiences and can damage the brain and body in young children." Read the full article here.


The deadly challenges of raising African American boys: Navigating the controlling image of the "thug" Author: Dawn Marie Dow, Ph.D. 

Purpose: How does the controlling image of the “thug” influence the concerns mothers have for their sons and how they parent their sons? 

Methods: 60 in-depth interviews with African American middle-class and upper-middle-class mothers

Results: Mothers' concerns included (1) preventing their sons from being perceived as criminals, (2) protecting their sons’ physical safety, and (3) ensuring they did not enact the “thug". Mothers believed being perceived as a "thug" made their sons vulnerable in various social contexts. Furthermore, they used four strategies to navigate the challenges they and their sons confronted related to the thug image: (1) experience, (2) environment management, (3) image, and (4) emotion management. Experience and environment management were directed at managing characteristics of their sons’ regular social interactions, whereas image and emotion management were directed at managing their sons’ appearance.

Conclusions: This study illuminates mothers' concerns, as well as the strategies mothers use to prepare their sons to address gendered racism through managing the expression of their masculinity, racial identity, and class status. Read the full article here.

Copyright © 2016 HomeGrown STL, All rights reserved.

HomeGrownSTL Strategic Networking
Principle Investigator, Sean Joe, PhD

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