Beta Iota Boulé Foundation and Hartford Foundation Announce Million Dollar Collaboration to Support Mental Health of Black Boys and Men

Culturally informed, accessible mental health care for Black boys and men can help destigmatize treatment, nurture their well-being, and support their contributions to the social and economic vitality of the region. 

A 2023 White House Roundtable on Young Black Men’s Mental Health highlighted that nearly 40 percent of Black teens say they struggle with persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Locally, DataHaven’s Greater Hartford Community Wellbeing Index found Black adults were 1.6 times more likely to report feeling down or depressed as compared to white adults. At the same time, research finds that African American men with depression are significantly less likely to seek help compared with White men with depression. (

To advance solutions to these challenges, the Beta Iota Boulé Foundation and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving have announced a collaboration to support the mental health of Black boys and men. The effort includes an investment of $400,000 from the Boulé Foundation placed with the Hartford Foundation. The Hartford Foundation will match the Boulé funds with up to $600,000 in additional funding to create a $1 million impact.

“Supporting the mental health and well-being of Black boys and men allows them to thrive which in turn, benefits their families and the whole community,” said Hartford Foundation President/CEO Jay Williams. “Engaging Black boys and men requires a deep understanding of racism and its impacts – the Foundation’s partnership with the Boulé will not only deploy needed resources, but it will also bring together stakeholders and community partners to explore strategies for increased awareness, services and systems change.”

A portion of the funds, $200,000, will be made available to the Black Giving Circle at the Hartford Foundation, a group of community members whose mission is to create sustainable change in the Black community by leveraging the philanthropic efforts of donors and celebrating Black philanthropy. Donations from members are pooled together in a dedicated endowed fund at the Hartford Foundation. Alongside the Boulé Foundation and staff at the Hartford Foundation, giving circle members will examine mental health issues facing Black men and boys in Greater Hartford and recommend grants to nonprofits to address them. 

“The Beta Iota Boulé Foundation is pleased to stand with the Hartford Foundation and the Black Giving Circle Fund in the historic announcement to move the needle on mental health initiatives in our community,” said Christopher Cloud, Sire Archon of the Beta Iota Boulé . “This partnership aligns well with the mission of our foundation to provide resources and support to issues that challenge members of the Black community, specifically our young black men and boys. We applaud the Hartford Foundation for its creative approach and commitment to make this effort a reality. 

The mission of the Beta Iota Boulé Foundation supports programs that support the African American community and individuals in the areas of Health/Human Services, Education, Youth Development, Arts/Culture, Recreation or Civics where a small amount will have a big impact. The Boulé Foundation also provides funding for scholarships for African American young men from the Greater Hartford region to help with the costs of attending a 4-year accredited college or university.

The partnership complements Hartford Foundation grantmaking that supports increased accessibility and use of mental, physical, and behavioral health supports for Black and Latine residents in Greater Hartford. In 2022 and 2023, the Foundation made significant investments in comprehensive, multi-service mental and behavioral organizations that serve boys and men of color in our region as well as grantmaking and capacity building resources to more proximate, BIPOC-led, and staffed nonprofits that serve Black youth and men of color. 


The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $998 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit or call 860-548-1888.