This report describes the research process to determine the perceptions and attitudes that people hold about boys and young men of color (BYMOC), the research findings, and a summary of recommendations for a public education campaign that can assist in the development of compassion and healing in attitudes of professionals who work with BYMOC.
This project was designed and implemented by the Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) and the Healing Justice Alliance (HJA), which is the communications technical assistance provider for the Supporting Male Survivors of Violence (SMSV) grant program of the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime. The target group for the research consisted of professionals working in youth-serving organizations (e.g., teachers, coaches) and in health-care settings (e.g., nurses, doctors, and EMTs). These professionals are likely to be the innovators and early adopters of a new narrative about BYMOC, because they interact with the same population and are closer to understanding the importance of healing in BYMOC lives. The phases of the research consisted of five in-depth interviews with individuals in the target audience (phase 1) and online and in-person focus groups (phase 2). The research provided a nuanced understanding of how professionals in youth and health-care settings think about boys and young men of color and how they view their role in creating change. The research revealed pathways for encouraging reflection and ultimately attitude, behavioral, and systems changes that enable these professionals to do their best work. 3 figures