Paths to Success: A Forum on Young African-American Men


Webcast: icon_video_audio.gif High Speed icon_video_audio.gif Low Speed icon_reports_studies.gifTranscript

The Kaiser Family Foundation and The Washington Post on July 18 hosted a forum in the Foundation’s Barbara Jordan Conference Center featuring Bill Cosby and a panel of national leaders examining the experiences of young black men in America.

The forum, Paths to Success: A Forum on Young African-American Men, addressed the results of a major new national survey conducted by The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University. The discussion focused on strategies to enable young black men to succeed in America today and built on themes presented in the Post‘s series, “Being a Black Man.”

The forum began with a conversation with Bill Cosby and was followed by a panel discussion among national leaders and young people. Harvard Law School Professor and Foundation Trustee Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. moderated the forum. Foundation CEO and former New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Drew Altman gave the opening remarks and highlighted key findings from the survey.

Panelists include:

  • Marcellus (Bishop) Allen, president of Saving OurSelves (S.O.S.), an organization aimed at preventing gang violence
  • Ras Baraka, high school vice principal and leader in gang intervention and prevention
  • Joy Angela DeGruy-Leary, author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing
  • Oakland Mayor-Elect Ronald Dellums, a former Congressman and chair of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Dellum Commission on young men of color
  • James Forman, Jr., professor of Law at Georgetown University
  • Steven Holmes of The Washington Post
  • Rev. Donald Isaac, executive director of the East of the River Clergy-Police-Community Partnership
  • Jachin Leatherman, Ballou High School valedictorian
  • Dr. Joshua W. Murfree Jr., vice president and national/international mentoring chairman of 100 Black Men, which leads efforts to train black men to serve as mentors, advocates and role models for black children and youth in their communities
  • Wayne Nesbit, Ballou High School salutatorian
  • U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
  • Dr. Alvin Poussaint, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and director of the Media Center of the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston
  • Eva Rousseau, former principal of Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Faye Wattleton, president of the Center for the Advancement of Women
  • James C. (Loose) White, III, one of the founders of Saving OurSelves (S.O.S.)
  • Corey Wiggins, doctoral student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and 2004 Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar




Ballou Public High School graduates Wayne Nesbit (l) and Jachin Leatherman talk to Bill Cosby. In the background, doctoral student Corey Wiggins and the Rev. Donald L. Isaac look on. (Photo by Richard Bloom) Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman addresses the audience, as Oakland Mayor-Elect Ronald V. Dellums and Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy-Leary look on. (Photo by Richard Bloom) Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, a Foundation trustee, moderates the panel discussion in the Barbara Jordan Conference Center. (Photo by Richard Bloom)

icon_reports_studies.gifSurvey Snapshot: Views and Experiences of Young Black Men

icon_reports_studies.gifYoung African American Men in the United States — Fact Sheet

Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard Survey of African-American Men

icon_reports_studies.gifJune 4, 2006, Washington Post article about the survey results

icon_reports_studies.gif The Washington Post‘s complete “Being a Black Man” series, including interactive features, videos and photo galleries

Webcast Materials:

icon_reports_studies.gifAgenda (.pdf)

icon_reports_studies.gifSpeaker Biographies (.pdf)

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Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.