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The Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Announces $1M Investment in Chicago-Based Organizations Supporting Boys and Young Men of Color This Summer

July 18, 2023 at 9:00 AM CDT

33 Chicago-based organizations each received $30,000 grants to create and expand spaces and programming for boys and young men of color

CHICAGO – Today, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a program of the Obama Foundation, announced that 33 Chicago-based organizations have been named Freedom Summer 2023 grant recipients. The Freedom Summer grant program aims to support local organizations that are working to reduce violence in Chicago communities this summer by creating and expanding spaces and programming where boys and young men of color can safely learn, play, and engage. The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance’s investment, coupled with its dedicated training and programmatic support efforts, will build safer and more supportive communities for Chicago’s boys and young men of color, where they feel empowered and are inspired to reach their full potential.

“We are thrilled to announce the 33 recipients of the Freedom Summer 2023 grant program in Chicago,” said Dr. Adren Wilson, MBK Alliance Executive Director. “These organizations are actively spearheading the creation of safe and inclusive spaces for boys and young men of color to thrive. The MBK Alliance’s investment and comprehensive support of each and every one of these organizations will create spaces where our youth not only feel valued, but also gain access to abundant pathways of opportunity. Together, we will forge a lasting impact and shape a brighter future for our youth.”

“As we build upon the achievements of last year’s Freedom Summer grant program, I take immense pride in the MBK Alliance’s unwavering commitment to bolstering the vital work being carried out on the ground in Chicago, fostering safe environments to create opportunities for our youth,” said Obama Foundation CEO Valerie Jarrett. “Our Freedom Summer 2023 grant recipients demonstrate the Foundation’s commitment to lifting up community-led organizations that are working day in and day out to create brighter futures for young people.”

The work of the MBK Alliance is rooted in six key life milestones that research shows are especially predictive of later success, and where interventions can have the greatest impact. The Freedom Summer grant program is anchored to the MBK Alliance’s sixth milestone: all youth should remain safe from violent crime. Each Freedom Summer grant recipient received a $30,000 grant for their commitment to creating safe and engaging spaces for youth. All recipients demonstrated that their programming will have a potentially lifesaving impact on boys and young men of color this summer. Last year’s Freedom Summer initiative allocated $1 million to 51 organizations nationwide, including 20 in the City of Chicago.