Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

President Obama and the My Brother's Keeper Initiative Town Hall

Creating structure and support for high-risk, young males.

With the support of educators, faith-based groups, government, foundations, and various businesses, the president hopes to have their support to help guide, direct, and support young Black youth, by giving them the tools needed to succeed.

Heavy hitters join the initiative.

Leaders from Silicon Valley and the Emerson Collective plan to launch a $50 million competition to redesign high schools so that young people can learn in classrooms built for the 21st century. Also on board are US mayors, the National Congress of American Indians (who are going to do the same for young Native American boys and men), The College Board, AT&T, UBS, JPMorgan, City Foundation, and Discovery Communications, who the president says, "are making big commitments of their own to help young people like you get ahead."


With the National Basketball Association's Chris Paul (who introduced the president at the start of the event) and commissioner Adam Silver in the audience, the president announced that the NBA has committed to recruiting 25,000 new mentors to work directly with educators and schools across the country.

Those interested in becoming a mentor can register on the White House mybrotherskeeper web site.

Often times reflecting on his own childhood, having been raised by a single parent, the president told the eager young crowd that he only met his father for a month. He praised single moms, and said the values his own mother had, are those "that every parent should have."

Parental values key for better parents, better children, better families.

Citing core, basic values the president gave a laundry list of values he says are inherently necessary for any parent to instill in their child, no matter the circumstances of the family structure.

"It doesn't matter if you're the mom or the dad", said President Obama, "loving your child, being responsible for your child, teaching them how to be honest, and how to be responsible for themselves, how to treat other people with kindness and respect, and work hard, "and just being there" are values that can be instilled by either the mom or the dad."

"You get as much as you put in."

The president continued to take questions from the young audience, with a focus on family and education being elements of success.

The nearly long hour long town hall event helped to get an ear about what is on the minds of young people, and to provide a presidential, and empathetic, ear.

The Town Hall took place at the Walker Jones Education Campus where students are encouraged to develop in four core areas: Knowledge, Service, Leadership, and Character. 

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