Details of President Obama’s new initiative My Brother’s Keeper was released on Thursday morning. This program is designed to improve employment outcomes and education for minority male youths. The initiative was brought to light earlier this month and the Obama administration has finally decided to release the details. The details were posted the personal site of one of the few black members of the Press Corps, April Ryan.
Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative is a two-pronged partnership with foundations and the private sector aimed at helping at risk black youth. The initiative focuses on early childhood development, ladders to opportunity, parental engagement, literacy and the criminal justice reform. According to the White House the foundations supporting the project My Brother’s Keeper will work to design a strategy and infrastructure for coordination of these investments over the next 90 days. These investments will be aligned with additional commentary from multiple people from other sectors.
Obama will sign a memo on internal research identifying what does not work and what does. Once it is completed it will be carried out with the creation of an Administration-wide online portal titled, “What Works.” This portal will promote successful programs which improve the outcomes of young men and boys of color.
The supporting foundations have already invested $150 million in current spending with plans over the next five years to invest at least $200 million. The Task Force, led by the Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, will work across agencies and executive departments in an inter-agency effort.
The goals of My Brother’s Keeper Task Force are:
- Assess the force of Federal regulations, policies and programs of general relevance on boys and young men of color in order to develop the types of proposals that will eliminate or at least reduce negative outcomes in order to enhance positive outcomes.
- Recommend incentives, where appropriate, for the broad embracing by national, state and local private and public decision makers of innovative and effective practices and strategies to provide opportunities to and for improving outcomes for young men and boys of color.
- Create the “What Works” online Administration-wide portal.
- Develop an all-inclusive public website that will assess, in absolute and relative terms, the critical indicators of life outcomes for boys and young men of color.
- Collaborate with external stakeholders to emphasize the challenges, opportunities and efforts affecting boys and young men of color.
- Make recommendations to Obama as it relates to ensuring sustained efforts within continued partnerships with the philanthropic community, private sectors and the Federal Government.
The launch of this initiative comes at a critical point in Obama’s second term. He has endured a great deal of criticism from minority groups and African-American leaders for not initiating policies towards their needs. Obama has admittedly shied away from matters of race in times past but has now shifted his focus to directly include the plight of young people of color. It is no secret that many of them have been disproportionately slammed by lack of opportunity, poverty and unjust prison sentences.
Last month during President Obama’s State of the Union speech he stated that he would be reaching out to some of the country’s leading corporations and foundations on an upcoming initiative to help more young men of color, who already have the odds against them, to stay on course and reach their full potential.
Details of Obama’s new initiative My Brother’s Keeper, a two-pronged partnership with foundations and the private sector aimed at helping at risk black youth, was released on Thursday morning. This program is designed to improve employment outcomes and education for minority male youths and will focus on early childhood development, ladders to opportunity, parental engagement, literacy and the criminal justice reform.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)