In Fort Wayne, there's a large disparity in achievement between black males and their peers: we're taking a look at the numbers and the stories behind them.

Shaiki Sutton, 21

“It didn’t fit with my standards, I was looking beyond that, I needed to do more than just what everybody else was.”

Fort Wayne, Ind., is a diverse community. With nearly 25% non-white residents, it’s one of the most diverse cities in Indiana. 
But there is a wide achievement gap between black men and boys in Fort Wayne and other men in the community. From education to incarceration, they’re generally worse off than their peers.
But why? What factors make the difference in the lives of African-American men in Fort Wayne?
Throughout 2014, WBOI hopes to shine a light on the challenges the community faces in closing the achievement gap. And we’ll meet the people dedicating their lives to making a difference.
This project aims to take a broad survey of Fort Wayne’s African-American community as we highlight the personal stories behind the statistics.

You can share your own story with WBOI by clicking on the link above. 
Fort Wayne, Ind., is a diverse community. With nearly 25% non-white residents, it’s one of the most diverse cities in Indiana. 
But there is a wide achievement gap between black men and boys in Fort Wayne and other men in the community. From education to incarceration, they’re generally worse off than their peers.
But why? What factors make the difference in the lives of African-American men in Fort Wayne?
Throughout 2014, WBOI hopes to shine a light on the challenges the community faces in closing the achievement gap. And we’ll meet the people dedicating their lives to making a difference.
This project aims to take a broad survey of Fort Wayne’s African-American community as we highlight the personal stories behind the statistics.

You can share your own story with WBOI by clicking on the link above. 

Fort Wayne, Ind., is a diverse community. With nearly 25% non-white residents, it’s one of the most diverse cities in Indiana. 

But there is a wide achievement gap between black men and boys in Fort Wayne and other men in the community. From education to incarceration, they’re generally worse off than their peers.

But why? What factors make the difference in the lives of African-American men in Fort Wayne?

Throughout 2014, WBOI hopes to shine a light on the challenges the community faces in closing the achievement gap. And we’ll meet the people dedicating their lives to making a difference.

This project aims to take a broad survey of Fort Wayne’s African-American community as we highlight the personal stories behind the statistics.

You can share your own story with WBOI by clicking on the link above. 

Jermal Jackson, 23

“Money don’t come fast down here. This is Indiana.”

Anthony Wright, 38

“I was at the shelter at one period of time, I was. I came back to start back over, but I came back with nothing so I had to start at the bottom to try to work my way back to the top.”

Enrollment vs. suspension numbers for U.S. preschool students. 
* Source: Civil Rights Data Collection, US Dept. of Education
Enrollment vs. suspension numbers for U.S. preschool students. 
* Source: Civil Rights Data Collection, US Dept. of Education

Enrollment vs. suspension numbers for U.S. preschool students. 

* Source: Civil Rights Data Collection, US Dept. of Education

Mark Lapsley, 48

"It’s out far away so you can’t depend on the bus, so you’ve got to walk like five miles just to get to your job. I stay on the south side and there ain’t nothing on the south side."

Kobe Billingsley, 3

Hear about Kobe’s career aspirations.

Kevin Billingsley, 31

"I can’t really speak for other black men, but I know it’s definitely one of those things, that it’s hard to overcome, because not having the opportunities like others to be successful - it’s tough."

Wendell Burnett, 50 

“God is the only thing the black man can hold onto right now because it’s so hard out here right now. Everything you try to hold on to evaporates.”

WBOI is exploring one corner of the educational experience: the idea that race can work against young men of color.

Ron Lewis is the program director of Trio Services at University of St. Francis. The federal program provides services for a range of students, including first-generation college attendees.

Recently, WBOI’s Virginia Alvino talked with Lewis about racial bias in the K-12 experience.

James Redmond, 79

“[The churches] have the rapport and they have access to the mayor’s office, more so than the average person. They’ll listen to the ministers.”

Jerom Reed, 49

“18-25 year olds, they’re not at peace with themselves”

Diane Rogers, Liaison Fort Wayne Police Department, says the city’s young black men are plagued by lack of hope and opportunity.