African American boys are falling behind in almost every measure compared to other ethnic groups. In 2009, a Brother2Brother (B2B) chapter was established in the Des Moines Public Schools to address educational barriers experienced by male students of color and to empower these students to set higher standards of achievement while fostering a spirit of caring. B2B strives to increase the number of male students of color who successfully complete middle school and high school and go on to positively impact their communities.
On April 6, forty-six Brother2Brother members and six advisors departed for the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) National Conference in Detroit, Michigan. Members from Callanan Middle School, Hiatt Middle School, McCombs Middle School, and Roosevelt High School stopped at the University of Iowa for a college tour and lunch on campus. At the conference the young men were involved in sessions ranging from leadership and community building to racial healing. A panel discussion was present to discuss “Policing in the 21th Century” where members were able to discuss interacting properly with police officers and knowing one’s personal rights. This was a time of learning and fellowship as the members also had time to tour Motown and Downtown Detroit.