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Our Men of Color Initiative

December 05, 2022

Dear ECMC Foundation community,

The past year has been pivotal for ECMC Foundation, with more than $40 million in funding to institutions, systems and organizations across the country and the launch of a new strategic framework that will allow us to continue growing our impact. As part of this framework, we have identified areas where we believe we can make a meaningful difference. Our existing initiatives represent our commitment to driving systemic change in basic needs support, career and technical education, transfer and credit mobility, and single mother student success.

Today, we are proud to announce a new effort to transform higher education to better serve men of color nationwide. Our Men of Color Initiative builds on years of learning from our own grants and investments, research from the field, and insights from local and regional programs that aim to support men of color on the pathway to postsecondary completion.

When I served as chief financial officer for the University of California, I studied analyses that disaggregated data to show rates of completion among various groups of students. The difference in graduation rates between women and men―and especially men of color―was profound. I knew higher education needed a real strategy to address why traditional structures have not allowed this population to thrive. I am optimistic that a concentrated effort bolstered by a multimillion-dollar, multiyear investment can and will help to break down barriers men of color face along their journeys through higher education toward degree completion.

My hope is that in announcing this initiative, we will inspire institutional and system leaders, philanthropies and policymakers to develop their own strategies to reimagine a higher education system that prioritizes men of color as critical to its overall success. After all, men of color represent 43.9% of male college students and 17.5% of students overall.

In our recent announcement about our new strategic framework, we detailed three strategic priorities: removing barriers to postsecondary completion; building the capacity of institutions, systems and organizations; and transforming the postsecondary ecosystem. The Men of Color Initiative touches on each of our priorities in pursuit of systemic change and will develop new knowledge, coalesce the field and scale innovation.

As we move forward with this new initiative, we will continue implementation of our strategic framework. I hope you’ll join us for our Strategic Framework Town Hall on December 14, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. PST, during which we will share more about our approach.

I am eager to maximize our impact with this emerging work, and as I look forward to my retirement in the first quarter of 2023, I know that the Foundation’s next president will assume leadership during one of the most exciting times in the organization’s history.

On behalf of all of us at ECMC Foundation, I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.



Peter J. Taylor
President, ECMC Foundation

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