Boston, MA

Male Engagement Network

Male Engagement Network

The Male Engagement Network promotes civic engagement, financial stability, access to affordable housing, and criminal justice reform to improve the lives of men of color living and working in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. It facilitates peer networks to support the mental health and wellbeing of these men—especially of young fathers—and address trauma and marginalization. 

How They're Solving the Problem

How They're Solving the Problem

In Boston, a history of structural racism has resulted in underfunded schools, inadequate housing, and other community conditions that generate trauma and undermine the mental health and wellbeing of men and boys of color. 

In order to address these issues, coalition partners are collaborating to implement the following:

  • 365Dads, Fathers Uplift, and Breakfast IV Brothers are social networks for men, especially fathers, where they address challenges around family relationships, housing affordability, financial stability, and civic engagement. 
  • Monthly meetings hosted by the Male Engagement Network where men explore some of the central elements that underpin wellbeing: stable housing, financial health, and social connection.
  • Nuestra Comunidad, Codman Square, and Mattapan ABCD—three local community development corporations—connect men to social services and bring residents together to share their experiences and advocate for community change.
  • The annual Fatherhood Grill-Off brings together some 400 community members to build community, share recipes, and spend time outdoors.



Already the coalition is creating change. The Male Engagement Network has increased hope and access to resources for men of color living or working in Boston. It’s provided men with culturally inclusive spaces to engage, educate, and connect with each other around issues like housing, financial health, and social connections. It has also built the capacity of men to advocate with community leaders for policies that will promote mental health, wellbeing, and community resilience such as criminal justice reform and funding for affordable housing and mental health resources.


Participating Organizations

Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Boston

Partners: Nuestra Communidad

Codman Square NDC


Vital Village

Father’s Uplift

365 Dad

Breakfast IV Brothers


Check out this related podcast and video

Exploring Healthy Masculinities Part 2 

Development Without Displacement