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Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative uplifting the Black community

My Brother’s Keeper (Photo Source:

My Brother’s Keeper (Photo credit:

Some people may complain that President Obama has done nothing for the Black community. Such a generalization is patently untrue and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative has had a significant impact.

Two years ago President Obama launched MBK to “ensure that all youth, including boys and young men of color, have opportunities to improve their life outcomes and overcome barriers to success.” The impact of the program is part of the hidden legacy of direct help in the Black community that impacts all of America. The president’s actions launched a series of initiatives that have seen the realization of dreams for millennial entrepreneurs, increased educational opportunities, and increased private sector involvement in the inner city.

In the two years since President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, there have been substantive successes. According to the White House, here are four ways that the program uplifted the Black community:

  • “The MBK School Success Mentor Initiative, a partnership between the Department of education and Johns Hopkins University, will pair 250,000 6th and 9th graders with trained mentors in 30 communities that accepted the MBK Community Challenge. At full scale, when operating in grades K-12 across districts, the model aims to reach over one million students within the next 3-5 years.”
  • “As part of the Administration’s Summer Opportunity Project, in February 2016 DOL launched a new $20 million grant competition that will be awarded to approximately 10 communities for innovative approaches that provide young people with summer and year-round jobs and connect them to career pathways. CNCS has committed $15 million in existing Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards over the next three years to launch Summer Opportunity AmeriCorps that will enable up to 20,000 youth to gain new skills and earn money for college.”
  • “In July 2015, ED and DOJ announced the “Second Chance Pell” pilot program that will enable incarcerated Americans to receive Pell Grants to finance the postsecondary education and training that may be instrumental in securing employment, stability, and self-sufficiency.”
  • “In May 2015, a group of private sector leaders joined together to launch the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA), a nonprofit that supports boys and young men of color. The founding Board of Directors collectively committed $80 million in in-kind and financial donations to support the organization’s mission.”



  1. shellyTheGreat on May 13, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    we shall see if anything of substance comes from this program. i hope so.

  2. Sol Rothstein on May 14, 2016 at 6:04 am

    We don’t need UPLIFTING or more pats on the back…WE NEED JOBS, Mr. President.

    STOP TAP-DANCING around the problem !!!

    Black UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT 28% !!!

    Get us some JOBS — Mr. President !!!

    • DrShellyT on May 14, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      This is not a tap dance AROUND the issue…it is a pre-emptive strike AT the issue!! Providing black males, from the moment they enter the school system, with mentors and role models who are continuously motivating them to be and do their very best will have a significant positive impact on their acquisition of knowledge and their development of skill sets. As such, they will be more likely to graduate from high school, will be mentally prepared to pursue a college degree and consequently, will be less vulnerable to a job market that already penalizes them for their identity.

      I agree that there must be considerable focus on the current issue of joblessness in the black community, but setting up programs to divert black males through the “school-to-vocation pipeline” rather than the “school-to-prison” pipeline is strategic and a necessity!!

      And, as a people, we absolutely do need “uplift”, in addition to “employment”…those conditions are not oppositional, but in fact, are interdependent!!

      • Sol Rothstein on May 14, 2016 at 4:16 pm


        That APPROACH is a SONG AND DANCE!

        It’s been going on for the last 65 yrs…WHEN ARE WE/BLACKS GOING TO STOP acquiescing, to this BULL.

        Has the President done this on, LBGT issues NOPE. He signed into law rights to get MARRIED.

        NOW why hasn’t he SIGNED into LAW federal programs that are GEARED to creating BLACK JOBS.

        You know EXACTLY what I am talking about! White folks did it in GERMANY, Ireland, and the UK.