October 28, 2014
Dear 100 BMBACS Family,
It has been several months since the announcement of our school’s suspension of operations. As you know, all of our students were successfully placed in schools where they continue to thrive. It goes without saying that our announcement in January 2014 was a difficult one, but our goal was to do whatever was necessary at that time to see our young men grow academically, socially and psychologically. Our board, staff and volunteers all hold the belief that – when you have a vision such as ours it is critical to act on it - with the highest trust and greatest possible expectation. As stated in January, our vision to “improve the lives of African American children in Oakland and beyond” goes unchanged.
We are grateful to each teacher, staff person, family member and supporter who gave time, finances and love to help the school from the time that we opened our doors in August 2012 and closed our doors at the end of January 2014. Your commitment changed the lives of our students and everyone who entered our doors. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to educational equity and the children of Oakland. We also applaud the Oakland Unified School District for providing the space to do the kind of work needed in our community. Many thanks also to our funders who shared our vision and fought with us to remove barriers.
Where We Are Today
Over the past several months, we have been researching how best to revitalize our operations while also maintaining our educational model. We are clear that the level of support needed to effectively manage a school with our unique design will be impossible without an extraordinarily high level of financial and political support and operational leadership. Because these support gaps continue to exist within our diverse networks, our board has decided to not re-open the school in Fall 2015. However, aspects of our work can be seen in various other entities within the Oakland community.
Making a Difference in the Community
The 100 BMBA Chapter has been working with the leadership of Parker Elementary School to provide inspiration and support to their students. Our chapter also continues to nurture healthy lifestyles for East Bay youth through it’s Youth Movement Program. Twelve of the elite athletes will be participating in the International Children’s Games in Australia, in January 2015.
Additionally, we continue to support Oakland’s African American Male Achievement Initiative with our presence and participation.
Telling Our Own Story
We continue to seek ways to effect change for our youth in the Oakland community. Although our unique school was short-lived, we believe that the model, intent and need was Divine! As such, we intend to tell the story of the school’s vision, design and implementation and include many of the voices of our teachers, students, families and the Oakland community. The 100 BMBACS understands the importance of history in our personal lives, in our communities and in our nation. We’re looking forward to sharing an important part of Oakland’s history with you, in the near future.
Board of Directors
100 Black Men of the Bay Area Community School
This hiatus will enable the School to refocus on its mission-eliminating the significant disparities that plague African-American boys in Oakland, the Bay Area, and beyond. In the interim, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area Community School is coordinating with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to assist affected families. The Board remains committed to resuming operations and appreciates the support extended by the community thus far.