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My Brother’s Keeper initiative to aid black and Latino boys

Christian+Champaign%2C+18%2C+a+senior+at+Hyde+Park+Career+Center+in+Chicago%2C+introduced+the+President+to+East+Room+audience+attending+the+My+Brother%E2%80%99s+Keeper+event.
SHFWire photo by Alejandro Alba
Christian Champaign, 18, a senior at Hyde Park Career Center in Chicago, introduced the President to East Room audience attending the My Brother’s Keeper event.

WASHINGTON –President Barack Obama launched a new initiative to help black and Latino boys across the nation.

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 Feb. 27 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 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.”

Alejandro Alba is a senior multimedia journalism major at UTEP. He is currently particpating in the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Semester in Washington program. He may be reached at [email protected].

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My Brother’s Keeper initiative to aid black and Latino boys