Saturday, April 20, 2024

Obama launches foundation to ensure success of Black, Latino youth

my brother's keeper

In the wake of racially charged unrest, protests and disturbances across the country, President Obama launched yesterday his nonprofit organization, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance – a spinoff from his 2014 White House initiative by the same name – which will be the crux of Mr. Obama’s post-presidency. The Foundation seeks to empower boys and young men of color through mentoring, educating and providing opportunities otherwise not afforded to the disadvantaged, while also lending a mirror for hope and success down the road.

“We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path,” Mr. Obama said in his address. “The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

The group has already secured some $80 million in financial pledges from prominent corporations, with the money geared toward addressing obstacles uniquely faced by young men of color through grants and community aid. The Alliance will be led by Joe Echevarria, former chief executive of Deloitte, and boasts names like Colin Powell, Shaquille O’Neal, John Legend and Eric Holder as members of its leadership team. And with heightened tensions between police and the minority community, Mr. Obama is seeking to elevate the discussion beyond merely law enforcement.

“If we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” he said. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”

Above all, the Alliance has a more significant aim. “I want you to know you matter,” the President told the young men in the audience. “You matter to us.”

New York Times