By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Forward Promise organization launched a Philadelphia-based operation on Wednesday aimed at supporting African-American youth.

Rhonda Bryant, deputy director of Forward Promise, says the event in the National Constitution Center was significant because it marked the national launch of a program office that will be responsible for grantmaking and technical assistance to programs around the nation.

“Our focus is really on healing, growing and thriving,” Bryant said. “So addressing issues of trauma and healing that are happening in the lives of boys and young men of color – both on an individual level and on a systems level.”

The Robert Wood Foundation has put up nearly $12 million for the initiative, which will now be based at the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate school of education.