The My Brother’s Keeper Task Force will establish mentorship programs and support networks to help minority boys stay on track in school.
“By almost every measure the group that’s facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century in this country are boys and young men of color,” Obama said.
Obama signed the memorandum Thursday in the East Room of the White House to establish My Brother’s Keeper Task Force,which will be chaired by Broderick Johnson,assistant to the president and cabinet secretary. The task force will work with the Department of Education.
Christian Champaign,18,a senior at Hyde Park Career Center in Chicago,is one of the many young men who benefitted from the Becoming a Man program,one of many that will be expanded under the new initiative. He introduced the president at the White House.
“I could see myself in these young men,” Obama said,standing in front of a group of young men. “The only difference was I grew up in an environment that was a little less forgiving.”
This initiative is part of Obama’s plan of action,outlined in his State of the Union address,to create more opportunities for all Americans.
Obama has already recruited investors,with more than $150 million raised. The foundations involved announced Thursday that they will also invest more than $200 million over the next five years.
Some of the foundations include the Annie E. Casey Foundation,The Atlantic Philanthropies and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Many are part of the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color.
To raise more money,Obama said he will recruit business leaders such as Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria,former NBA player Magic Johnson and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Obama said the program will help improve early childhood development,parental engagement,third grade literacy and educational and economic opportunity.
“No excuses,” Obama said. “We all have a job to do and we can do it together.”
Reach reporter Alejandro Alba at [email protected] or 202-326-9866. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.