My Brother’s Keeper

Posted by Emma Brownstein
(@Emma Brownstein)

My Brother's Keeper Meeting
Photo by: Pete Souza

“The only way we live up to America’s promise is if we value every single child, not just our own, and invest in every single child as if they’re our own,” President Obama has said.

In 2014, in response to the death of Trayvon Martin, Obama created The My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative with the intent to give support to young black and brown men. “That’s what ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is all about. Helping more of our young people stay on track. Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works — when it works, in those critical life-changing moments,” Obama remarked about MBK.

Since the start of the program, all 50 states and around 250 communities have participated in MBK, involving celebrities, businesses, clergy and athletes to mentor the young men with odds stacked against them. Over 600 million in the private sector and philanthropic grants have been given to the effort, and new federal policy initiatives and grant programs are being implemented to help young men go to college and complete other academic projects.

MBK Handshake
Photo by: Pete Souza

From the start of the program, MBK has reported continuous progress and success in the four categories of focus, including engaging local communities, increasing engagement by businesses, philanthropic organizations and nonprofits, and reforming public policy.

After his post-presidential period of recharging comes to an end, Obama plans to continue his work with MBK. “Ensuring that our young people can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them is the single most important task that we have as a nation. It is the single most important thing we can do for our country’s future.