What To Know About Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper”

my_brothers_keeper_lockup_newPresident Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color, and to ensure that young people can reach their full potential. With this initiative, the Administration is joining with cities and towns nationwide, businesses, and many foundations to connect young people to mentors, support networks, as well as help them build skills they’ll need to find a good job or go to college. They’ve established six milestones, to illustrate their main focus.

  1. Getting a Healthy Start and Entering School Ready to Learn
    All children should have a healthy start and enter school ready – cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.
  2. Reading at Grade Level by Third Grade
    All children should be reading at grade level by age 8 – the age at which reading to learn becomes essential.
  3. Graduating from High School Ready for College and Career
    All youth should receive a quality high school education and graduate with the skills and tools needed to advance to post secondary education or training.
  4. Completing Post secondary Education or Training
    Every American should have the option to attend post secondary education and receive the education and training needed for the quality jobs of today and tomorrow.
  5. Successfully Entering the Workforce
    Anyone who wants a job should be able to get a job that allows them to support themselves and their families.
  6. Keeping Kids on Track and Giving Them Second Chances
    All youth and young adults should be safe from violent crime; and individuals who are confined should receive the education, training, and treatment they need for a second chance.


Data shows that, regardless of socio-economic background, are largely and disproportionately at risk throughout their academic journey. For instance, large disparities remain in reading proficiency, with 86 percent of black boys and 82 percent of Hispanic boys reading below proficiency levels by the fourth grade – compared to 58 percent of white boys reading below proficiency levels. In addition to that, there is a disproportionate number of black and Hispanic young men who are unemployed or involved in the criminal justice system is a drag on state budgets. It even undermines the stability of both family and community. This initiative is imperative to the success of young men of color everywhere.


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