Press Release

VPP+Raise DC convenes historic panel at Howard University

Young men from Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys pose with panelists and organizers from Venture Philanthropy Partners+Raise DC. (Rodney Choice/AP Images for Venture Philanthropy Partners + Raise DC)

On Monday, March 14, VPP+Raise DC convened four of the region’s most prominent Black male university leaders at Howard University to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Black and Latino males in Greater Washington.

The panel included: Mr. Ronald Mason Jr., J.D., University of the District of Columbia’s president, Dr. Gregory Washington, George Mason University president, Dr. Anthony Wutoh, Howard University provost, and Dr. Blair Hayes, University of Maryland Global Campus’ vice president, chief diversity officer and ombudsman.

Moderated by Howard alumnus and Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Keith Alexander, panelists spoke honestly about their own experiences, what gives them hope as community leaders for boys and young men of color, and took questions from students in the audience from Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys.

Watch the full panel conversation here.

While the Greater Washington region is home to a historic number of Black male college and university presidents, VPP+Raise DC’s research consistently shows that boys and young men of color experience adverse outcomes at a disproportionate rate compared to boys from other backgrounds. VPP+Raise DC is committed to reversing this trend through cross-sector coordination that drives systems change and increased capacity for direct services to vulnerable populations.

Monday’s gathering was the first of many collaborative moments that VPP+Raise DC plans to facilitate in the future in an effort to drive real and positive change to improve the outcomes for boys and young men of color in our communities.

Over the next three years, VPP+Raise DC is committed to: Working with the government of the District of Columbia and its partners to advance My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) DC; Improving third-grade literacy rates for boys of color across the region, including expanding access to quality early learning/pre-Kindergarten, in Washington, DC, and Fairfax County; Improving high school graduation rates for the region’s Latinx and Black young men; And leading a collaborative action network focused on driving systems-level change to improve the outcomes of boys and young men of color.

To learn more about what VPP+Raise DC is doing to support Boys and Young Men of Color in Greater Washington, please email Sarah Dovere, Vice President of External Affairs at

Check out press coverage from the event here: 

Washington Post: Black university leaders say boys of color face opportunity ‘crisis’
Washington Business Journal: University leaders confront hurdles facing Black, Latino male students
Associated Press Images: VPP+Raise DC Host Building the Future, Today: Black Excellence at Howard University