• Brothers on the Rise Brothers on the Rise


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Mission Statement

Brothers on the Rise responsibly empowers boys to achieve individual success, develop healthy relationships and contribute to a more just and equitable society.



Collectively with parents, teachers, and providers we help to raise, educate, and develop boys into responsible, peaceful, caring and productive young men. We contribute to a growing movement which seeks to eliminate challenges disproportionately affecting male youth of color through best practice programming as well as macro level social change work. Since launching in 2008, BOTR has directly served over 800 male youth and empowered over 800 of their adult allies with training and technical assistance, thereby impacting thousands across the Bay Area. BOTR’s two core direct services programs are Brothers, UNITE!, providing 3rd-8th graders with literacy, life skills and leadership development, and Lift a Brother Up (LABU), a career development initiative providing job training, college prep and paid internship to 9-12th grade young men interested in health and human services careers. Taken together these initiatives form a powerful cascading mentorship model which serves as a pipeline to success for boys and young men of color. Integrated into each of these programs are Brothers Helping Brothers counseling, case management, and parent education.

During 2014, BOTR served three public school sites with Brothers, UNITE! as well as three community based programs through our partnership with two Oakland Parks and Recreation centers. Direct service programs are focused on San Antonio, Fruitvale and East Oakland neighborhoods, where the need is great and our relationships with other anchor institutions strong. Our LABU program draws on young men from high schools and agencies also focused on these neighborhoods to maximize impact through a place-based approach.

To multiply BOTR’s impact beyond sites where we have resources to provide direct services, our training and technical assistance empowers schools, nonprofits and public agencies to better serve male youth of color throughout the Bay Area. These capacity building projects provide workshops, curricula, coaching, consultation and convening for youth-serving professionals including teachers, counselors and after-school group leaders.

Based on our success in Oakland, we also have licensed our Brothers, UNITE! model to schools in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. We also facilitate training institutes and learning communities, through which we share BOTR models and other best practices. Outside of California, our model was also adapted by Iowa State University to serve college men of color there. We also engage in research and writing to further empower the field and build this important movement.


BOTR was launched in May 2008 as a fiscally sponsored project of San Francisco Study Center to address the multiple challenges disproportionately affecting low-income boys and young men of color in Oakland, including high levels of exposure to violence, high school dropout, unemployment, incarceration, and death by homicide. It grew out of founder and Director Jon Gilgoff's ten years of developing preventive pipeline programs for male youth of color, and the need for an organization specifically focused on this cause.

From its initial site and a direct service focus, BOTR has grown to serve over one hundred students annually through BOTR led programs at schools and parks throughout Oakland, and impact thousands more through training and technical assistance provided to institutions throughout the Bay Area. This dual direct service - systems change approach ensures that disadvantaged male youth of color receive assistance they need, that adult allies are equipped with effective tools to facilitate their success, and that core institutions designed to support their development can do so more effectively.

During 2012, BOTR engaged CompassPoint CEO Jeanne Bell to help create a business plan which has resulted in growth of revenue, staff and programs. Ready for our next phase of development, we have incorporated as a nonprofit corporation with the state of California and will continue the process in order to separate from our fiscal sponsor and be fully independent by mid 2015.

Recognized as a 2010 model prevention program by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and with a 2013 Bay Area National Philanthropy Day Vineyards Award for the great impact we achieve in spite of limited resources, BOTR continues to develop as a field leader within the growing boys and young men of color movement.

Brothers on the Rise (BOTR) is currently recruiting new volunteers into our nonprofit agency. BOTR has several volunteer opportunities for all basic level of service.

Develop Organization:

Board of Directors Membership

Board Committee Membership

Finance Committee

Fundraising Committee

Program Development Committee

Board Development Committee

Develop Youth


Professional Mentoring

Currently, BOTR strongest campaign is to recruit members for the Board of Directors. If you've never been on a Board before, this could be a great chance to gain some experience in this area. We also appreciate seasoned professionals with prior Board service to join our team.

Those interested in volunteering with BOTR should email the Board Development Committee at manager@brothersontherise.org with a brief description of yourself, your interest in volunteering, and contact information for following up. Applications for different volunteer opportunities are available in the "Get Involved" section of our website: www.brothersontherise.org



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