Latino Young Men and Boys (LMB): Understanding and Overcoming Disparity Project

The Insight Center for Community Economic Development (ICCED) has worked in partnership with Acosta & Associates and Arte Público Press to support the design and implementation of the community education program, “Latino Young Men and Boys: Understanding and Overcoming Disparity,” presenting leading voices and best practices on issues. We continue to benefit from the ongoing involvement of Insight’s former chief executive officer, Henry A. J. Ramos.

While welcoming all, this space is intended to provide an open and positive forum for Latino male expression and exchange. It will be complemented in the future by other dedicated spaces the Insight Center will host to provide comparable learning and exchange opportunities for other important and historically overlooked groups.

Through the exchanges we seek to promote here, we will lift up important aspects of Latino history and culture-our history and culture. We will celebrate the best of shared Latino identity as a unique group of Americans whose great potential to contribute to society has not been fully tapped by American popular culture as a result of racism, ignorance and misplaced institutional policy.

We will offer an alternative and more affirmative narrative through our contributions and exchanges on this site.

Project Description

Everywhere Latino young men and boys go, they face largely unresponsive educational institutions, discriminatory employers and intensely hostile law enforcement agencies. There is little doubt that these young people have been subjected to detrimental barriers to success in American society. The eventual manifestations and consequences of these adversities are predictably troubling and tragic: gangbanging, crime, violence, addiction and, in many cases, early death.

Here we have created a new virtual center for artistic and creative expression established for Latino men and boys by Arte Público Press at the University of Houston. Its development, in partnership with Acosta & Associates and the Insight Center, and funding from The California Endowment, Marguerite Casey Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, California Community Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, and the Sierra Health Foundation, will encourage the posting, curation, and interactive discussion of original works by Latino men and boys in California and elsewhere across the nation as they illustrate the conditions these young people face and the visions they hold for a better future.

Project Objectives

By advancing public understanding of these issues, the project will:

  1. Benefit community advocates by supporting healthier outcomes for Latino boys and young men, from indigenous and diverse cultural ancestry, their allies in civil society, the media, and policy makers.
  2. Introduce and make broadly accessible for the first time on a national stage (and on their own terms) the representative voices, views, and creative works of select at risk Latino young men and boys.
  3. Expand public and leadership appreciation of the issues affecting this critical population and — absent improvements in policy and practice — the likely negative impacts of those issues on future quality of life in California and across the United States.

Project beneficiaries will include interested community organizations, inter-generational grassroots leaders, civic organizations, scholars, journalists, policy makers, and policy advocates whose field understanding and professional effectiveness will be enhanced through the project’s various activities.

Project and Book Series Summary

Latinos in America are a diverse mix of indigenous and cultural origins. Given the proportional representation of Latinos in the boys and young men of color (BMoC) population in California and nationally, there is a relative dearth of specific culturally fluent research, policy, and best practice information.

This project will consist of three core stakeholder education and advocacy activities:

  1. Dissemination of three cornerstone publications by Arte Público Press
    • Click here to learn more about the three publications.
  2. Participation and support from allied community convening(s), advocacy forums, practitioner exchanges to support and inform culturally-based best practice strategies and civic engagement in youth restorative justice (e.g., La Cultura Cura Framework)
  3. Creation of an inter-active website for on-going information exchange on LMB related issues.

The project activities focus on improving life chances for Latino boys and young men of indigenous decent in partnership with community and field leaders, advocates, practitioners, and philanthropic partners.

Project Lead

Frank de Jesús Acosta
Author/Editor, Arte Público Press
Senior Consultant, Insight Center

Project Advisors

Daniel “Nane” Alejandrez
Barrios Unidos
Santa Cruz, CA

Tomas Alejo
Tinta Sagrada Skin Art
Washington, D.C.

Father Greg Boyle, SJ
Homeboy Industries
Los Angeles, CA

Luis Cardona
Department of Health and Human Services
Montgomery County

George Galvis
Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)
Oakland, CA

Albino García, Jr.
La Plazita Institute
Albuquerque, NM

Ruben Lizardo
University of California
Berkeley, CA

Richard Montoya
Culture Clash
Los Angeles, CA

Michael Palumbo
Culver City, CA

Luis Rodrgiuez
Tia Chucha Centro Cultural
Sylmar, CA

Alex Sánchez
Homies Unidos
Los Angeles, CA

Javier Stauring
Office of Restorative Justice, Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Jerry Tello
National Compadres Network
Hacienda Heights, CA


Community, Safety and Peace, 2011.

Community, Safety and Peace, 2011.