Cross-posted from the White House Blog.
Yesterday afternoon, President Obama visited the Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C., to participate in a town hall with youth, and to announce new commitments in support of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.
As the President said, “We want fewer young men in jail; we want more of them in college. We want fewer young men on the streets; we want more in the boardrooms. We want everybody to have a chance to succeed in America. And it’s possible if we’ve got the kind of team that we set up today.”
Watch President Obama answer questions during the town hall:
In February, as part of his plan to make 2014 a year of action focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans, the President unveiled the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.
The Administration is doing its part by identifying programs and policies that work, and recommending action that will help all our young people succeed. Since the launch of My Brother’s Keeper, the President’s Task Force has met with and heard from thousands of Americans, through online and in-person listening sessions, who are already taking action.
Now, leading private sector organizations announced independent commitments that further the goals of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and directly address some of the key recommendations in the Task Force Report. These commitments include:
- The NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, and the National Basketball Retired Players Association announced a five-year commitment in partnership with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Team Turnaround, and the Council of Great City Schools. The partnership will focus on recruiting new mentors and work with educators in at-risk schools to provide incentive programs that increase attendance and improve overall school performance.
- AT&T announced an $18 million commitment to support mentoring and other education programs with a mentoring component.
- Becoming A Man (B.A.M.) and Match tutoring programs announced $10 million in new funding to expand to 3-5 new cities over the next three years and support a large-scale study on the programs’ long-term effects.
- Along with their partners from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, the Emerson Collective, founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, will collaborate with districts and educators to launch a competition to find and develop the best designs for next generation high schools. Together, they will contribute $50 million for this effort.
- Citi Foundation is making a three-year, $10 million commitment to create ServiceWorks, a national program to help 25,000 young people in ten cities across the U.S. develop skills they need to prepare for college and careers.
- Yesterday, the leaders of 60 of the largest school systems in the country, which collectively educate nearly three million of America’s male students of color, have joined in an unprecedented pledge to change life outcomes of boys and young men of color by better serving these students at every stage of their education.
- The College Board is investing more than $1.5 million for “All In,” a national College Board program to ensure that 100 percent of African American, Latino, and Native American students with strong AP potential enroll in at least one matched AP class before graduation.
- Discovery Communications will invest more than $1 million to create an original independent special programming event to educate the public about issues related to boys and men of color and address negative public perceptions of them.