The Long Beach mayor’s office, local community organizations and national partners hosted MBK Communities to celebrate progress and share best practices to expand opportunity for boys and young men of color.
LONG BEACH – My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) hosted a three-day Regional Summit, convening 19 cities, counties and Tribal Nations that accepted President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge.
The Regional Summit offered MBK Challenge Communities two-and-a-half days of “hands-on” programming uniquely tailored to what they need to take their current MBK initiatives to the next level. The Summit focused on solutions that have proven successful or have shown tremendous promise in empowering boys and young men of color with the tools they need to reach their full potential.
“Since President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper nearly four years ago, leaders like those gathered in Long Beach this week have developed local programs that have impacted countless youth in communities across the country. Everyone here is sharing what works to unlock the leadership potential of the next generation. When we work together, we can make a difference for the youth in our communities,” said Broderick Johnson, MBK Alliance Board Chair.
MBK Communities from New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Indian Country, as well as a broader group of stakeholders, convened together to review advancements made in each community. More than 80 boys and young men of color joined more than 200 national and local cross-sector leaders for two days of programs focused on their life success.
“In Long Beach, we have seen the youth engaged with programs like My Brother’s Keeper learn and grow. We know that when the community stands together and embraces the youth of tomorrow, we are fostering the leaders of tomorrow,” said Long Beach Mayor Dr. Robert Garcia.
Key sponsors of the MBK Alliance Regional Summit include: The California Endowment; California Funders for Boys & Men of Color; City of Long Beach; PolicyLink; City of Albuquerque; Cities United; Casey Family Programs; Bloomberg Associates; Alliance for Boys and Men of Color; and Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
“This Summit is about supporting our youth and ensuring they have access to the opportunities and resources they need to become the next generation of leaders. We all have a role to play, and as a sponsor, we are proud to do our part,” said Robert K. Ross, MD, President and CEO , The California Endowment.
"This summit brings together the passionate people who are building communities to address the opportunity gaps for young men of color. It allows us to leverage our expertise, speak honestly about the challenges and learn how to collectively develop effective solutions. We celebrate our victories and refresh for the challenges we are ready to take on." Linda Gibbs, Principal, Bloomberg Associates.
During the Summit, participants took part in workshops to learn from each other, seek guidance, feedback and proven solutions from their peers. They also addressed the challenges that come with the long-term investments needed to close the gaps in opportunity for BYMOC.
Mayor Garcia opened the conference on Wednesday, applauding participants for their focus on collaboration and results. Workshop attendees participated in a mayor’s panel on what is working and what is needed to further the work in support of BYMOC, featuring the mayors of Oakland, Stockton and Compton and the vice-mayor of Long Beach. Another panel focused on how to increase high school completion rates for boys and young men of color.
During the Summit, MBK Alliance announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that will award (2) $25,000 grants to community based organizations in California and (1) $25,000 grant award to a community based organization in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska, or Indian Country addressing barriers to health and well-being, through violence prevention programs for boys and young men of color.
In addition, seven young men of color were awarded $1,000 scholarships. Each recipient responded to one of five essay prompts related to My Brother’s Keeper, including issues facing their communities, leadership, and mentorship.
One of the recipients, Malik X. Rogers, is a current student of California State Long Beach, and an example of the impact MBK Communities is having on the next generation of leaders. Through his involvement with MBK Long Beach, Rogers has been able to take advantage of opportunities including mentorship, leadership and training.
“As a young person, I have been able to get more involved in my community. I have seen how mentorship made a difference in my own life, and want to inspire the next generation. As I continue to pursue my education, I know it’s my responsibility to pass on those opportunities to others, and show that there are many avenues to success for young men like myself,” said Malik X. Rogers.
MBK Alliance will continue to bring together mayors, tribal leaders, county supervisors, business executives, nonprofit practitioners and everyday citizens to stand together, forge unlikely alliances and create exciting new pathways for youth to realize their dreams and empower all BYMOC to succeed.
About MBK Alliance: My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) born out of President Obama’s call to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and ensure all youth can reach their full potential. To improve life outcomes, MBK Alliance works to elevate the voices of our nation’s BYMOC and unite business, philanthropy, nonprofit, government, community leaders and youth to impact lasting social change. This collaborative, cross-sectoral movement led by MBK Alliance helps break down barriers that BYMOC disproportionately face and creates pathways to promising futures. For more information visit www.obama.org/my-brothers-keeper-alliance, or follow us on Twitter Opens in a new tab @MBK_Alliance or Facebook Opens in a new tab.
Contact: Faith Cole, Acting Communications Director, [email protected]