Kevin Johnson: A True COSEBOC Champion

“I am so humbled to be blessed in this manner. I still feel like I’m just lil’ ole KJ – being recognized for a good deed. It’s times like this when my life really does seem to have value, a purpose. Thank you and your organization for recognizing lil’ ole KJ.” 

This is an excerpt from a recent letter written by Kevin Johnson, who many now know was a driving force behind the founding of COSEBOC in 2006. Executive Director Ron Walker has shared the poignant story several times this year of how his former, gifted student – now incarcerated in a Pennsylvania prison – invited...

Trauma Can Endure! What Must We Do to Heal?

by Ron Walker:

I can still remember in vivid detail the terror I felt when I saw a picture of the  grotesque face of Emmett Till after he had been killed. I recoiled from his face,  beaten beyond recognition, as if I were in the presence of a monster. I was just 9  years-old. I asked my mother who that was and what had happened? An immigrant from the south during the Jim Crow era, she explained that he was  accused of doing something very wrong. She then went on to give me her  rendition of ”The Talk” that is commonplace today in Black families with sons...

Knowing, Understanding and Celebrating the History of Black Americans

February, 2021

During this Black History Month, I challenge all of us to better know, understand, and appreciate the contributions made by Black Americans. Here is my question: Will we commit to dive deeper into the ocean of new ideas and inventions, and into the impact made by Black people? I encourage us all to reach beyond the shallow pool of Black history that only acknowledges the usual histories of the usual names that we memorize each year. 

And while those contributions are important and noteworthy, in learning these stories we are  only dabbling our toes at the...

Their names are Amber, Robin, Azya, and Jordan. They are my daughters and granddaughters. I, like millions of other Black fathers and grandfathers, am fiercely protective and proud of each one of them. 

Breonna Taylor was the pride and joy of her family also. At 26 years old, she was already a decorated Emergency Medical Technician who enjoyed serving her fellow man. With an optimistic and ebullient personality, she was looking forward to a bright future. According to a close friend, Breonna was engaged to be married and expected 2020 to be her best year. 

Ode to my Father, Solomon Walker

by Ron Walker
Executive Director, COSEBOC

June 15, 2017

As another Father’s Day draws near, I wonder why we forget to sing praises to our fathers more often. I am guilty of this. From day to day, I am more apt to raise a tribute to my mother—who definitely deserves every praise given. However, too frequently and unintentionally I minimize the tremendous person that my dad, Solomon Walker, was and the enormous impact that he made on my growth and development as a boy, young man, and man.

The words that I will now share are in honor of my father....

Where are all the Fictive Kin?

by Ron Walker

I can recall growing up and hearing the voice of Miss Mary correcting misbehaving children who lived on our block. I vividly remember my own encounter with Miss Mary. One day a group of my friends and I were having fun throwing a baseball around. My throw went awry and landed hard on Miss Mary’s porch. We are scattered without any interest in retrieving the ball.

Later on that day, there was a knock on our door. It was Miss Mary with a ball in her hand. She spoke with a distinct clarity to my mother who answered the door. Her message was definitely...

Jackie Carter

National Advocates for Boys of Color Set to Gather from May 18-21;
Media Highlights & Interview/Feature Opportunities Touted

[May 11, 2016] The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) has announced a memorial fund, established by the family of the late Jackie Carter, a prominent, Black publishing executive who was known especially for her efforts to promote ethnic diversity in children's books. Ms...

COSEBOC 444 Sankofa Passages Program

by Kamau Ptah

In the fall of 2010, a call to manhood was pronounced by the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) to establish an in-school rite of passage program for the School District of Philadelphia. Approximately 100 men from the city of “Brotherly Love” responded to the summon and 10 were selected to pioneer this innovative approach to create transformative systems and practices that would address the cultural, identity and manhood crisis that impedes the holistic development of boys and young men...

Do Something! by Ron Walker

by Ron Walker

As a boy, young man and man, I have been blessed with innumerable influential, active, and positive people in my life. The most influential by far were my parents, Delores and Solomon Walker. They encouraged, advised and disciplined me when necessary. Both parents reminded me that having an education qualified me to " do something" in the service of others.

I only applied to one college. That college was the historic HBCU, Lincoln University, located in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Little did I know that this...

Young, Gifted, Black and Worried - post by Ron Walker

by Ron Walker

In the Bible, Job was known for his perseverance while under extreme duress. He once said, "The churning inside me never stops, days of suffering confront me". As I fast forward to today, I often think about the constant churning that is omnipresent in the lives of black men and boys. There is a constant churning within caused by endless stress that confronts us.

I once had a robust conversation with a white male counterpart comparing and...