“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.” - President Barack Obama, February 27, 2014
My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge
In September 2014, President Obama issued a challenge to cities, towns, counties and tribes across the country to become “MBK Communities.” This challenge represents a call to action for all members of our communities, and mayors in particular, as they often sit at the intersection of many of the vital forces and structural components needed to enact sustainable change through policy, programs, and partnerships.
The MBK Community Challenge encourages communities (cities, rural municipalities, and tribal nations) to implement a coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategy for improving the life outcomes of all young people to ensure that they can reach their full potential, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born.
The six goals of the Challenge are:
Ensuring all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready
Ensuring all children read at grade level by 3rd grade
Ensuring all youth graduate from high school
Ensuring all youth complete post-secondary education or training
Ensuring all youth out of school are employed
Ensuring all youth remain safe from violent crime
Community leaders can lay the groundwork for an MBK Community in four steps:
Accept the President’s Challenge
Convene a “Local Action Summit” to build an MBK Community
Conduct a policy review and form recommendations for action
Launch a plan of action, next steps and a timetable for review
President Obama launched 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.
Through this initiative, the Administration is joining with cities and towns, businesses, and foundations who are taking important steps to connect young people to mentoring, support networks, and the skills they need to find a good job or go to college and work their way into the middle class.
My Brother’s Keeper is focused on six milestones:
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.
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.
Graduating from High School Ready for College and Career
Every American child should have the option to attend postsecondary education and receive the education and training needed for quality jobs of today and tomorrow.
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.
Keeping Kids on Track and Giving Them Second Chances
All children should be safe from violent crime; and individuals who are confined should receive the education, training and treatment they need for a second chance.