In February, President Obama announced the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative aimed at closing the achievement gap for young men of color in the United States. Three months after the program’s announcement, the White House released a 90-day report that called on the American community to enter a long-term commitment of mentoring to help positively affect the life of a young person.
Now, with a clear goal plan for “My Brother’s Keeper” and a strong backing, Obama has announced the program’s expansion that includes educators, athletes, companies, and foundations announcing their commitment to help minority boys.
“We want fewer young men in jail; we want more of them in college. We want fewer young men on the streets; we want more in the boardrooms. We want everybody to have a chance to succeed in America. And it’s possible if we’ve got the kind of team that we set up today,” said Obama during Monday’s announcement at Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C.
Some of the partnerships announced include the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Retired Player’s Association recruiting 25,000 new mentors, AT&T announcing an $18 million commitment to support mentoring and other educational programs, and the Emerson Collective, founded by wife of the late Steve Jobs, committing $50 million to collaborate with school districts to find and develop the best designs for the next generation of high schools. Additionally, Obama announced that leaders from 60 of the nation’s largest school districts have pledged to change the outcome of young men of color by better serving them at every stage of their education, while the College Board is investing more than $1.5 million to help improve the number of minority students enrolled in advanced placement classes before graduation.
These latest announcements point to a much needed plan and commitment from the American community to keep “My Brother’s Keeper” as an active program beyond just the Obama administration.