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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My Brother's Keeper: Plans of Action That Help America's Young Boys Attain Success Garners Even More Support

The White House convened a summit today highlighting the work of the Obama administration's My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative, announcing even more support from community partners, businesses and governmental entities across the nation. In just three short years since its start in 2014 MBK has amassed more programs directed toward providing young boys of color a direct path to success than any other of its kind.

During today's summit, the final under the Obama administration, several key successes were recognized including new federal commitments that cover the National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center,  Increasing Data Transparency to Understand and Develop Strategies to Improve Youth Outcomes; and New Federal Investments to Meet the Needs of Current and Former Foster Youth.

"It's almost three years ago, we launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to give more of our young people the tools and the support that they need to stay on track for a bright future", President Obama said today to MBK supporters and participants.  We knew this couldn’t just be a government initiative.

The MBK initiative received an overwhelming response across the nation with more than a billion dollars invested into the work of MBK from businesses and foundations.

"And I've just got to say, the response was incredible.  Hundreds of you -- mayors, tribal leaders, county executives have created MBK communities in all 50 states, as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico", the president said.

[See also MBK: A Day of Action]

MBK has garnered new support from private sector communities that focus on Expanded Investment in MBK Community Challenge Acceptors in California, Multiplying Commitment to Inspire and Recruit Mentors, Expanding Support for the MBK Community Challenge and a new Data Dashboard Platforms to Support MBK Communities.

More on the support the MBK initiative has received from both private and governmental entities are below:

Recent Federal Commitments in Support of MBK

·         New Regulations and Supporting Documents to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in IDEA. Delivering on MBK Task Force recommendations, the U.S. Department of Education published final regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that will address a number of issues related to significant disproportionality in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities based on race or ethnicity. The Department also released a new Dear Colleague Letter to remind states, school districts, and public schools of their legal obligation to prevent discrimination on the basis of race in special education.

·         Supporting Reentry Pathways for Youth Transitioning from Juvenile Justice Facilities. The Department of Education released new guidance and technical assistance materials that will help State and local leaders provide transition assistance to youth reentering the community from juvenile justice facilities. These resources, which are available at, can help local systems provide strong support for youth transitioning out of juvenile justice facilities, to ensure that they are able to successfully rejoin their communities, continue their education, and fulfill their potential.

·         White House Report: The Continuing Need to Rethink Discipline. The White House released a new capstone report with updates about projects launched and local progress made in response to the Administration’s Rethink Discipline efforts. Rethink Discipline was launched as part of MBK and aims to support all students and promote a welcome and safe climate in schools. The full report is available HERE. The White House also convened stakeholders and leaders to discuss the progress made and the work ahead to encourage and support local leaders as they work to implement supportive school discipline practices.

New Private Sector Commitments in Support of MBK

·         Expanded Investment in MBK Community Challenge Acceptors in California. The California Endowment announced an additional commitment of $25 million over the next four years in support of healthier outcomes and improved well-being of boys and young men of color in California.  This commitment builds on an earlier pledge by the foundation, bringing the total support to a projected $75 million over seven years from 2013 to 2020.  These resources are supporting partnerships and other activities at the local level across the state of California, and are intended to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and replace it with a meaningful pathway to health and opportunity for young men of color.

·         Multiplying Commitment to Inspire and Recruit Mentors. In July of 2014, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced a five-year commitment to support My Brother’s Keeper. As part of this commitment, the NBA family partnered with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to support their “In Real Life” campaign and set a goal to recruit 25,000 new mentors over five years, with a focus on adult males of color. Less than three years into the partnership, already more than 25,000 Americans have signed up to become mentors and been connected directly to a mentoring program in their community. Going forward, the NBA family is renewing its commitment to mentoring by setting a new goal of increasing sign-ups by an additional 25,000 adult mentors. Find out more and get involved at

·         Expanding Support for the MBK Community Challenge. In 2017, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance will launch a wide array of investments available to the nearly 250 cities, towns, counties and tribal nations that accepted the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge communities, including: a comprehensive online support platform that will house local and national data dashboards, interactive mapping and milestone components, a webinar and events portal, and a curated resource library; a suite of online trainings to build a community of learning and practice around topics such as data and impact, leadership development, collective action management, institutional implicit bias, program design and delivery, and mentoring strategies; and building off of the success of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper National Summit, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance will host a national summit to explore “what works” in communities across the country, provide in-depth technical assistance to clusters of practitioners, and elevate successes and challenges to inform a national agenda for boys and young men of color in 2017.

·         New Data Dashboard Platforms to Support MBK Communities. In 2017, to help jurisdictions across the country better gather and share their equity data, Bloomberg Associates and PolicyLink will be working in partnership with MBKA to build an open platform for jurisdictions to produce their own MBK dashboards, merging administrative and social media data with national sources of information. The goal will be to provide clear guidance on how to pull data from agencies across city, county and state sources, and present it in a clear and unified way to allow local partners to know exactly how young men are faring in their jurisdictions, and to track progress. The platform will be free and accompanied by strong visualization tools, and the opportunity for comparative analysis across cities and states.

Show Your MBK ImpactShowcase the impact that you have made over these past two years and also to recruit more members of your communities to the work.

Want to start an MBK initiative in your city? Here's how you can get involved. #MentorsWanted

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