My Brother’s Keeper initiative expands with funding, support (Part II)

NBA Players Association president Chris Paul attended to announce the NBA's involvement in MBK and introduce President Obama to the crowd.

NBA Players Association President Chris Paul attended to announce the NBA’s involvement in My Brother’s Keeper (MBK ) and introduce President Obama to the crowd.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On July 21, President Obama provided another update about the progress he has made in attracting new support for the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative, which was launched earlier this year. Several new partnerships were announced to demonstrate the growth of the initiative since it has been signed earlier this year. Among the most recognizable partners announced was the NBA, who teamed up with MENTOR, to announce a five-year-commitment to the initiative.

President Obama addressed the crowd to share updates on the My Brother's Keeper initiative.

President Obama addressed the crowd to share updates on the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

NBA Players Association President Chris Paul, who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, attended the event and shared his views on the importance of the initiative. Paul’s statement before he introduced President Obama to the audience said:

“This is our opportunity to stand together as athletes, parents, mentors, and as leaders in our communities, to show our young men and boys of color with our actions that we are behind them and that their success matters.”

President Obama surrounded by participants in the My Brothers Keeper Initiative when it was initially launched.

President Obama surrounded by participants in the My Brothers Keeper Initiative when it was initially launched.

Some other notable partners announced were AT&T, The College Board, Citi Foundation, and Discovery Communications. In total, over $100 million is expected to be contributed by the growing list of partners to the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. That makes roughly $300 million committed towards providing services, mentorship, and opportunities through the MBK initiative.

President Obama shared his personal experience as he announced the growing list of collaborators  to the MBK initiative.

President Obama shared his personal experience as he announced the growing list of collaborators to the MBK initiative.

President Obama shared his personal experiences as a way to further demonstrate the necessity for the program:

“When I was in my teens, I didn’t have a father in the house. It took me a while to realize that I was angry about that, and I acted out in some ways. I was raised by a single mom. We didn’t have a lot in terms of wealth, although we had a lot of love in the house and my grandparents helped out. But despite their best efforts, sometimes I made some bad choices. I didn’t always take school as serious as I should have. I made excuses sometimes for misbehavior. The only difference between me and extraordinarily talented young men that I see all across the country is I was living in a pretty forgiving environment.

President Obama is joined by his adviser Valerie jarett and US Attorney Eric Holder in discussing the importance of My Brothers Keeper.

President Obama is joined by his adviser Valerie Jarrett and US Attorney Eric Holder in discussing the importance of My Brothers Keeper.

So that’s why, earlier this year, we launched what we call My Brother’s Keeper. My Brother’s Keeper isn’t some new, big government program. It’s actually a team effort. It’s all about a whole bunch of folks — educators, business leaders, faith leaders, foundations, government — all working together to give boys and young men of color the tools that they need to succeed and make sure that every young person can reach their potential. And so the reason that we’re here today is to announce some of the pledges that have already been made, some of the commitments that have already been made by a series of institutions that just give you a sense of the kind of progress and excitement that we’ve seen since we launched this initiative.”–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Father-in-chief promotes values, fathers, sons, in “My Brother’s Keeper”

President Obama signs  the My Brother's Keeper initiative  in front of  a group of young men in Chicago.

President Obama signs the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in front of a group of young men from Chicago.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

My Brother’s Keeper is an initiative introduced by President Barack Obama to address opportunity and achievement gaps facing minority boys and young men in this country. The President proposed at the beginning of the year, an idea in which he sought the input of successful businesses and foundations that have already established themselves in addressing these issues. The administration asked for a 90-day task force to be convened by some of these professional participants to gather a list of recommendations for tactics that have been useful so far.

President Obama shares a light-hearted moment with the youth in attendance.

President Obama shares a light-hearted moment with the youth in attendance.

While speaking to a group of Chicago-based youth in the White House on February 27, 2014, President Obama explained why this initiative is so important to him.

“I didn’t have a dad in the house, and I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time,” the President shared. He continued, “I made bad choices, I got high without thinking about the harm it would do, I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have.” The President then explained what made a difference in his life. “I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving. When I made a mistake, the consequences were not as severe. I had people who encouraged me, not just my mom and grandparents, but teachers and community leaders who pushed me to work hard to make the most of myself.”

President embraces a young man and provides him with words of encouragement while others look on.

President embraces a young man and provides him with words of encouragement while others look on.

On May 30, 2014 the White House received a 60-page report from the commissioned task force which presented numerous recommendations to make a difference in the lives of boys and young men. The 90-day report made many recommendations but had three major points of emphasis:
1) Launch a public-private campaign to actively recruit mentors for youth and improve the quality of mentoring programs.
2) Make the status and progress of boys and young men of color and other populations more visible by improving data collection and transparency.
3) Support locally driven efforts that are more comprehensive – addressing the educational, physical, social and emotional needs of young people – and that span multiple life stages from the cradle to college.

President Obama speaks about the personal experiences that link him to this initiative.

President Obama speaks about the personal experiences that link him to this initiative.

The multi-pronged approach which the task force presented is essential to make significant changes in what is a troubling cycle of unfulfilled potential for boys and young men of color. The importance of the educational and career aspects of the efforts to help improve the lives of these youngsters is constantly recognized. However, the social development of these youngsters is equally important and it appears that this initiative is making noticeable strides to highlight the important role the social aspect plays as well. One local organization, Bronx Fathers Taking Action, created by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr, is actively involved in mentoring and other projects.

The most advanced proponent of the initiative towards the social development of the youth is the extensive search for quality mentors. Those who are interested in becoming a mentor can submit their information through the White House website.

My Brother's Keeper initiative by the President is in its early stages but is already making headlines.,

My Brother’s Keeper initiative by the President is in its early stages but is already making headlines.,

It is extremely important to emphasize the social development in conjunction with educational and career improvement. The proper moral compass, decision making process, and self-confidence that emerge as part of the essence of successful men of color is developed over years of reassurance from parents, caregivers, and mentors.

My Brother’s Keeper is in its early stages, and the participants in the program are on their way to helping the President effect sustainable, positive change in the lives of our boys and young men of color. Visit the website listed and get involved now. –OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a management training consultant, foster care advocate and sports writer. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.