By us, with us, and for us.

The BYMOC Collective seeks to engage boys and young men of color in charting a new, collective way forward to reduce the disproportionate gaps they experience in Columbus and across Franklin County. We do this by forming relationships, listening, and including BYMOC to co-design, advocate, and implement policies, practices, and procedures that improve the quality of life for them and the community as a whole.

The Importance of BYMOC in Ohio

Dr James Moore portrait smiling
Principle Investigator & BYMOC Collective Director

Dr. James Moore, III

Dr. James L. Moore III is the vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer at The Ohio State University. Dr. Moore is also the first executive director of the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male and the inaugural Education and Human Ecology Distinguished Professor of Urban Education. From 2015 to 2017, he served as a program director for Broadening Participation in Engineering in the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia, and, from 2011 to 2015, he was an associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University.

An internationally recognized researcher and Education and Human Ecology Distinguished Professor of Urban Education at Ohio State, Dr. Moore’s research focuses on school counseling, gifted education, urban education, higher education, multicultural education and counseling, and STEM education. He is also renowned for his work on African American males, and throughout his career, he has received numerous prestigious awards, honors, and distinctions.

I DO THIS WORK BECAUSE I BELIEVE: it is noble, redemptive, and needed in advancing Black men and boys in American society.

Dr. Keisha Hunley-Jenkins, Assistant Director & Community Lead
Assistant Director & Community Lead

Keisha Hunley-Jenkins, JD, PhD

As community lead for the BYMOC Collective, Keisha helps direct the young people of BYMOC in identifying practices and procedures that deliver better outcomes for their community. A respected education advocate and trusted community advisor, Keisha has experience working together with the city, county, and state government to improve the educational, civic, community, nonprofit, philanthropic, and private sectors.

I DO THIS WORK BECAUSE I BELIEVE: that regardless of skin color, income, or zip code, it is our birthright to live a life where we are presented with equitable opportunity and resources, rather than the oppressive one designed for people of color via personal and structural racism. The disproportional impact of the pandemic, and relentless blatant discriminatory treatment of Black and other people of color, present the greatest opportunity our country has ever seen to transform how and what we do to ensure that we achieve equitable outcomes for BYMOC in our community.

Dr. Eddie Fletcher
Research Lead

Dr. Eddie Fletcher

Edward C. Fletcher Jr., Ph.D. is an Education and Human Ecology Distinguished Associate Professor of Workforce Development and Education in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on the role of career academies in promoting students’ experiences as well as postsecondary and labor market transitions – particularly for ethnically and racially diverse students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

I DO THIS WORK BECAUSE I BELIEVE: my research will lead to more equitable educational outcomes for ethnically and racially diverse students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. I want my research to guide policy and practice by ensuring diverse learners leave high school college and career ready – prepared to pursue further education and reach their career goals by acquiring employment in high-demand, high-wage, and high-skilled occupations.

Current Students

Rob Barry
Coordinator

Rob Barry

Hometown
Chicago (Westside), IL
Major
Department of Comparative Studies
Age
30
Rob Barry
Coordinator

Rob Barry

Hometown
Chicago (Westside), IL
Major
Department of Comparative Studies
Age
30

What are your Career Aspirations?

To become a Scholar and Professor of Black Studies

I do this work because believe that...

youth inclusion in any capacity matters and is vital to the sustainability of our communities. Young people require meaningful interaction with their elders so that they can leverage the foundation the elders build and pass down. The BYMOC Collective’s works to close this gap and leverage the collective power of both groups.

Why did you want to work with the BYMOC Collective?

The work to ensure Black and Non-Black youth of color are adequately cared for and valued is never done. I see the BYMOC Collective as a vessel to ensure that youth are appropriately cared for by understanding their material realities to meet their needs. Focused on capacity building and youth voice, I believe BYMOC Collective is doing the necessary work to ensure that our youth will be heard and welcomed to create the world they want to see.

What do you hope to accomplish being a part of the work?

I hope to build and establish new grounds with the change-makers in Columbus, OH. As a transplant from Chicago, IL, I want to contribute to the work that is already being done while also allow space for us to dream of new possibilities. Through these new possibilities, the work will continue to thrive in various capacities.

What will society or your community look like when the BYMOC achieves what you hope it does / what does success look like for BYMOC?

Success looks like greater access to increased possibilities and opportunities for boys and young men of color. By intentionally centering BYMOC perspectives in the development and implementation of policies and practice changes that directly impact their lived experiences, is what success will look like. We are on the brink of change and the BYMOC Collective participants are the agents of change!

Alex Bassiouny
Student Program Assistant

Alejandro Bassiouny

Hometown
Cincinnati, OH
Major
Integrated STEM Education
Age
19
Alex Bassiouny
Student Program Assistant

Alejandro Bassiouny

Hometown
Cincinnati, OH
Major
Integrated STEM Education
Age
19

What are your Career Aspirations?

To become a high school science teacher at a predominantly Latinx inner-city school and pursue a master’s degree in Counseling & Education Policy.

I do this work because I believe...

that empowering minority youth to have a greater role in shaping their future by centering their lived experience and ideas will make the difference. I don’t want to create another program addressing issues. Instead, I want to work towards systemic change. The BYMOC Collective is part of that systemic change.

Why did you want to work with the BYMOC Collective?

I wanted to work for the BYMOC Collective because I wanted to give a voice to those who don’t have one and to effect systemic change in Columbus. The BYMOC Collective listens to the community and bases policy and practice changes on the lived experiences of BYMOC and key stakeholders. This approach includes enables the community to see legislation that is tailored to improve their quality of life.

What do you hope to accomplish being a part of the work?

I hope to focus on mental health and help create a safe space for youth to feel as though they have a platform to speak their minds and talk about issues that matter to them. Issues like mental health are often taboo in many communities. Holding space for youth perspective on this topic, especially with the impact of COVID, can steer the conversation into legislation that can better impact the community. I hope to also have a collective effort where youth and leaders of the community work together and learn from each other.

What will society or your community look like when the BYMOC Collective achieves what you hope it does / what does success look like for BYMOC Collective?

Success looks like the community feeling as though their voices are heard and in the collection of real data from real people. Too often the data collected is not representative of the target population. By making a concerted effort to engage young people to voice their opinions, enables us to better connect with the community and develop policy and practice changes that result in the equitable outcomes we seek for our community. Something as simple as providing an outlet for youth to speak about issues like mental health enables the community to come together and learn from each other.

Derrick Burton
Student Program Assistant

Derrick Burton

Hometown
Canton, OH
Major
Aviation Transportation
Age
23
Derrick Burton
Student Program Assistant

Derrick Burton

Hometown
Canton, OH
Major
Aviation Transportation
Age
23

What are your Career Aspirations?

To become a commercial pilot and successful business owner.

I do this work because I believe...

that children are our future. The BYMOC Collective has the opportunity to help the community reach the equitable outcomes our society desperately needs.

Why did you want to work with the BYMOC Collective?

I want to help identify what changes our community wants and to help develop collective solutions and programs that improve our quality of life.

What do you hope to accomplish being a part of the work?

I hope to help start something that those who come after me can help to further develop and achieve goals ensure minority populations thrive.

What will society or your community look like when the BYMOC Collective achieves what you hope it does / what does success look like for BYMOC Collective?

With an initiative like ours, the work may never be finished because there is always something that can be done. But, I’ll know we accomplished something when the generations who follow are free from broken cycles and are able to truly be themselves.