Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 04:13 am est

Bloomberg initiative engages 4,000 disadvantaged minority men

Posted on October 11, 2012 | by Tanay Hudson

A report released last week revealed that nearly 4,000 people have participated in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative, which is only in its first year.

Bloomberg launched the initiative last August to address the disparities in opportunities that slow the advancement of young African-American and Hispanic men between the ages of 16 and 24. The initiative does not exclude women or other ethnicities from their programs, but is primarily geared towards men.

With a three-year plan and a $127 million budget, the program was partially financed with $30 million of Bloomberg’s personal funds and through public-private partnerships that will invest more than $43 million a year in the program.

The Young Men’s Initiative aims to provide access to mentoring and educational programs, as well as employment and civic and community engagement opportunities, in an effort to lower poverty, reduce crime and lower unemployment and dropout rates.

“This cross-agency enterprise is the culmination of 18 months of work begun when the Mayor committed in his 2010 State of the City address to find new ways to tackle this crisis,” Bloomberg spokeswoman Samantha Levine said.

The Department of Probation, which is one of multiple city agencies taking part in this program, is impressed with how far the program has come in its first year.

“We are thrilled with the progress of the initiative,” said Department of Probation
spokesman Ryan Dodge.

Despite the progress, Bloomberg points out that there is still work to be done.

“We will continue to take aggressive steps to ensure that all New Yorkers are able to fully participate in the promise our city holds,” he said in a press release.

Many NYU students like LSP freshman Joseph Tavera, who falls under the targeted
demographic, approved of the initiative.

“It seems like a program that would benefit a lot of people my age and above, especially when they are still developing and trying to find their purpose in society,” Tavera said.

New York City resident Kafele Clementealso, 19, also championed the idea.

“It sounds like a good deal because as I am an African-American, and not all African-
Americans struggle, but I have been through a few struggles in my life so knowing that a [program] is going to change something sounds good to me,” Clemente said. “That helps a lot because a lot of young Black and Latino men who are fathers are struggling to take care of themselves because they made a mistake [at a young age] but knowing that they have a chance to get back out there is awesome.”

In spite of the positive reaction to the program, NYU professor of education Dr. Pedro Noguera, who was asked to serve on the advisory board for the Young Men’s Initiative, said that although Bloomberg deserves credit for acknowledging the major problem, this issue is far larger than the mayor understands.

“They were targeted because they bear the greatest hardships [such as] high dropout rates, high suspension rates, high incarceration and unemployment rates,” Noguera said. “Unfortunately, the YMI does not recognize the connections between these problems and instead treats them in isolation.”

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 11 print edition. Tanay Hudson is a contributing writer. Email her at 


  • Mike

    The disparity of URM males in higher education continues wreck havoc on our communities. As a Black man my dogged resilience/determination has come from the role models whom have stood in the gap and helped create a bridge to get me through college, medical school, and the unique life’s challenges. This is why I partnered with several colleagues to establish Minority Men. MM is an organization dedicated to empowering URM men to lead healthy, productive lives. Visit us at

profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.