$91 Million For My Brother’s Keeper

More than $91 million in commitments was announced during a town hall on My Brother’s Keeper, a White House initiative to at-risk minority boys and young men.

President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum in February establishing the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, which released a report in May addressing several key issues. The interagency effort chaired by Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson will help determine public and private efforts and how to expand upon them.

The My Brother’s Keeper initiative focuses on six key milestones:

  • Getting a health start and entering school ready to learn
  • Reading at grade level by third grade/age 8
  • Graduating high school ready for college and career
  • Successfully entering the workforce
  • Keeping kids on track and giving them second chances

“What is it that we can do to create structures that help them that give them support, that help them make better choices. And that when you do make a mistake, give you a hand up so you can recover, and move on to the next phase of your life,” President Barack Obama said during the town hall at Walker Jones Education Camp in Washington, D.C.

My Brother’s Keeper “isn’t t some big, new government program, it’s actually a team effort. It’s all about a whole bunch of folks – educators, business leaders, faith leaders, foundations, government – all working together to give boys and young men of color the tools they need to succeed and make sure every young person can reach their potential,” he said.

A group of some 30 grant makers pledged $200 million over five years to the effort and yesterday, another nearly $100 million was announced “to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential:”

  • The National Basketball Association (NBA), its players union and retired players union will partner with Mentor: The National Mentoring Parntership, Team Turnaround and the Council of Great City Schools to recruit 25,000 new mentors over the next five years and work with educators in at-risk schools to provide incentive programs that increase attendance and improve overall school performance.
  • AT&T announced an $18-million commitment to support mentoring and other education programs with a mentoring component.
  • Becoming A Man (B.A.M.) and Match tutoring programs announced $10 million in new funding to expand to three to five new cities over the next three years and support a large-scale study on the programs’ long-term effects.
  • The Emerson Collective will collaborate with districts and educators to launch a competition to find and develop the best designs for next generation high schools, with a combined contribution of $50 million for the effort.
  • Citi Foundation is making a three-year, $10-milloin commitment to create ServiceWorks, a national program to help 25,000 young people in 10 cities across the U.S. develop skills they need to prepare for college and careers.
  • The College Board is investing more than $1.5 million for “All In,” a national College Board program to ensure that 100 percent of African-American, Latino and Native American students with strong potential enroll in at least one matched Advanced Placement class before graduation.

Discovery Communications will invest more than $1 million to create an original, independent special programming event to educate the public about issues related to boys and men of color and address negative public perceptions.