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The two nonprofit organizations announce a new partnership aimed at supporting racial equity programming at local Boys & Girls Clubs

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and National Cares Mentoring Movement Rally Together to Provide Hope for Youth in Crisis

Press Release

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ATLANTA, GA – FEB. 3, 2021National CARES Mentoring Movement and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are excited to announce a new collaboration that focuses on expanding support and resources to kids and teens across the country who are struggling with the trauma created by systemic inequities, racially charged violence in their communities and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on their families. The partnership, which will introduce National CARES’ culturally anchored and healing-centered approach into Clubs, will assist Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s strategic priorities in 2021 related to trauma-informed organizational development and racial equity.  

“We are very excited about our new partnership with the National CARES Mentoring Movement,” said Lorraine Orr, chief operations officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “CARES brings critical mentoring knowledge and expertise that is needed now more than ever to support our kids and teens, especially our Black youth who are struggling with the racial unrest in their communities and throughout the nation. We are so thankful to have CARES standing with Boys & Girls Clubs of America as we expand our efforts in racial equity and trauma-informed practice.”

Phase One of the partnership will serve as a launch pad to a long-term mentoring partnership in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Trauma-Informed practice approach. The organizations will work together to grow the capacity of the caring staff members, who serve children and teens, by developing their understanding of the intersection between race, culture and trauma. This partnership is unique because by wedding the two organization’s frameworks, healing becomes central to how we approach and support youth.  Additionally, the organizations will work together to build staff capacity and support the implementation of male programming at Boys & Girls Clubs in six cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, New York City and Seattle. The National CARES Mentoring Movement has recently provided support to Club staff in the field by facilitating sessions that lead to learning and self-reflection which support Clubs ability to activate an immediate response when racial unrest occurs. National CARES Mentoring Movement and local Club leadership will work together to implement restorative healing wellness circles for staff and young people to process these incidents as part of their entry point into conversations on equity, and specifically, racial equity work. 

“The National CARES Mentoring Movement is proud to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to advance racial equity across our country. This most critical work cannot be done by any one entity alone. Creative collaboration is the sure way forward. Linking arms and aims, organizations and leaders who care deeply about the wellness of all children and our nation, will succeed,” said Susan L. Taylor, founder and CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement. Both Boys & Girls Clubs of America and National CARES value partnership and a trauma-informed approach to supporting the young people we serve. We are excited about working together and adding our healing Wellness Mentoring Circles to the renown work that Boys & Girls Clubs implements in communities. Together we will build staff capacity and support for boys and young men of color. National CARES is part of a web of holistic, culturally anchored organizations. Like Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we are committed to racial healing and advancing the nation’s children and communities.

The National CARES Mentoring Movement is a pioneering, community-mobilization initiative that directly addresses the life-shredding effects of intergenerational Black poverty and lays a blueprint for community recovery. Anchored by a 58 U.S-city affiliate network, the organization is the nation’s recognized leader in the recruitment, training and engagement of African American mentors, and the only organization providing holistic programming on a national scale to undergird and advance impoverished Black children by providing them with the emotional, social, academic and career-readiness support they must have to become selfsustaining, successful contributors to our society.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a youth advocacy organization working to ensure that all kids and teens have the same opportunities to succeed in life. With more than 4,700 Boys & Girls Clubs serving 4.6 million young people annually, the organization has also shifted to meet the needs of kids, families and communities. Many Boys & Girls Clubs are now open all day, supporting children with virtual learning in addition to their traditional programming. Boys & Girls Clubs ensures that all youth have the resources they need to achieve a great future – including a safe, supportive environment and caring adult mentors. 

“As a Club leader seeking meaningful ways to support my staff during a tumultuous year in South Louisiana, I am immensely grateful that Boys & Girls Clubs of America and CARES have partnered to facilitate a series of healing circles with my staff,” said Missy Bienvenu Andrade, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana. “Initially, I felt ill-equipped to begin these difficult conversations about trauma and racial inequity but CARES provided me with the support and guidance to lead these discussions with my staff.  We look forward to expanding these critically important healing circles to our kids and teens and I feel confident this partnership will result in Club professionals who feel more prepared to listen, serve, and mentor the millions of youth served in Clubs across the country each day.

To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s commitment to equity and social justice at To learn more about National CARES Mentoring Movement, visit

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. More than 4,700 Clubs serve over 4.6 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs daily during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. To learn more, visit Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook or Twitter.

About National CARES Mentoring Movement
Founded in 2006 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as Essence CARES while Susan L. Taylor was chief editor of Essence magazine, it is the mission of National CARES Mentoring Movement to transform the lives of Black children by inspiring, recruiting and mobilizing masses of caring Black men and women to mentor and nourish, challenge and champion them. Compelled to do more than just write about the predictable destinies of impoverished Black children, in 2008, after 27 years as its chief editor, Susan Taylor handed the reins to the next generation at Essence Communications to concentrate fully on building the National CARES Mentoring Movement. To date, we have recruited more than 150,000 mentors who are serving, or have served, more 200,000 children. 



Media Contacts

Kerri Osborne
National CARES Mentoring Movement

Ashley Keyes
Boys & Girls Clubs of America




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