From 2003 to 2006, Project Brotherhood, Responsibility, and Outreach (Project B.R.O.) offered comprehensive sex education to young East African men in San Diego, California. Project B.R.O. emerged from anecdotal reports made by police and service-sector officials that gang activity, teen prostitution, and teen pregnancy were fast-rising threats among Somali youth, and sought to test whether a “culturally appropriate” intervention could stem those trends. This essay examines the racial ideologies at work in the construction, funding, and operation of Project B.R.O., specifically the stereotypes of African American class, gender, and sex pathology at work in shaping the acculturation process for refugee youth. Rather than slipping into the underworld of vice, however, young Somali men are shown struggling over legitimacy and empowerment in cultural, religious, and gender-based terms.


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pp. 5-30
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