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My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Expands Support for Boys and Men of Color Following Participation in Historic ESPN Town Hall with President Obama in North Carolina

November 28, 2016 at 10:26 AM CST

GREENSBORO — My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) an independent nonprofit dedicated to creating pathways to success for boys and young men of color, recently participated in a historic series of events featuring President Obama on the campus of North Carolina A&T University. Tuesday’s student forum addressed issues of race, equality, the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and more.

Prior to headlining the October 11 televised student forum, A Conversation with the President: Sports, Race & Achievement hosted by ESPN’s “The Undefeated,” President Obama invited MBK Alliance CEO Blair Taylor, MBK Alliance Board Member and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, and five young men to participate in a closed-door youth roundtable conversation regarding what it means to be a young man of color in our country today.

While in North Carolina, MBK Alliance, senior White House officials, and partners convened 10 local MBK communities for a facilitated conversation on the status of youth of color in Charlotte following the recent police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. The dialogue engaged local youth to share their perspective on current events, placing particular emphasis on potential solutions around community policing and mentorship.

“We must certainly acknowledge how vital the President’s support is for our efforts around boys and men of color.  His leadership continues to be superb.  This dynamic multi-day gathering, held on the campus of one of the nation’s premier HBCUs, provided young people the opportunity to share their personal stories with national and local leaders and provided space to discuss their dreams and their challenges with us and with each other. By opening up dialogues like this one in North Carolina, MBK Alliance is helping guide communities toward tangible solutions to enable young men of color overcome obstacles and help them to serve as role models in their communities,” said Taylor.

Earlier this week, Sprint announced the launch of the 1Million Project, a multi-year initiative that will provide free mobile devices and high-speed internet connectivity to one million high school students who lack a reliable source of connectivity to the digital world at home. MBK Alliance will partner with Sprint to help recruit community organizations – schools, libraries, public-housing authorities, and non-profits.

“We are confident that the 1Million Project will not only unlock latent talent and potential in young people, but will also serve as a model of innovative private sector support for our nation’s next generation of leaders, employees, and consumers,” added Taylor.

Additionally, MBK Alliance will play a critical role in a White House initiative, the First Job Compact, also announced this week. The initiative has enlisted nearly 40 major companies and hundreds of small to mid-sized business to commit to recruiting, hiring, and retaining out-of-work, out-of-school young people aged 16 to 24. MBK Alliance will help the pledged companies execute their commitments, track progress, and share successes.

MBK Alliance is continuing to build momentum on its efforts to empower boys and young men of color through significant local and national programmatic activities including a series of opportunity summits in select cities across the country. These summits will be modeled after the highly successful inaugural Opportunity Summit in Oakland, California in July, which engaged more than 30 local employers who conducted more than 600 on-site interviews and made nearly 350 on-the-spot job offers that day. In each of the upcoming host cities—which include Detroit, Albuquerque, Newark, and Memphis—MBK Alliance will work closely with local stakeholders, elected officials, nonprofits, youth organizations, and national and local employers to provide on-the-spot hiring opportunities and real-time career advancement for summit attendees.

The sessions in North Carolina also reaffirmed the President’s long-term commitment to supporting work in service to boys and young men of color.  When asked about his post-presidency plans during A Conversation with the President, President Obama promptly responded: “We’re going to continue to work on the issues that we care deeply about. Most prominently, we’re going to be interested in figuring out how we can develop the next generation of leaders, so we’re going to be spending a lot of time with things like My Brother’s Keeper.”


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 action to ensure all of our nation’s boys and young men of color (BYMOC) have equal opportunity to live up to their full potential. In order to improve life outcomes, MBK Alliance is working to elevate the voices of our nation’s BYMOC and to unite business, philanthropy, nonprofit, government, community leaders, and youth around this critical work. This collaborative, cross-sectoral movement led by MBK Alliance is breaking down barriers that BYMOC disproportionately face along the life path to create lasting social change. MBK Alliance was established in 2015 and appointed former Starbucks executive Blair Taylor as CEO in April 2016.