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President Obama Joins Conversation on Equity and Public Safety During Virtual My Brother’s Keeper Alliance National Convening

May 24, 2021 at 9:00 AM CDT

President Obama’s conversation with youth and community leaders to mark the progress and work that remains in the year since George Floyd was killed.

CHICAGO — Today the Obama Foundation announced President Obama’s participation in a broadcast plenary session during its upcoming MBK Leadership Forum: Breaking Barriers, Building Dreams, a virtual, invitation-only gathering of leading My Brother’s Keeper Communities from across the country. This convening will share best practices from communities with proven success, celebrate the momentum of the network, and continue to center racial equity as a core driver to meet My Brother’s Keeper Community goals. The Forum will take place May 26-27.

President Obama will participate in a conversation with youth and community leaders on the unprecedented activism and action that has taken place in the year since George Floyd's tragic murder and the importance of reimagining policing and public safety in the work ahead. The session will be live streamed on, YouTube (Opens in a new tab), Facebook (Opens in a new tab), and Twitter (Opens in a new tab) on Wednesday, May 26, at 2:30 p.m.CT/3:30 p.m. ET. Panelists include:

  • President Barack Obama

  • Mayor Ras Baraka, Newark, NJ

  • Benny Estrada, Director of Street Outreach, New Life Centers of Chicagoland

  • Alicia Garza, Co-creator, #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and founder, Black Futures Lab

  • Jacob Jackson, Los Angeles Youth Uprising (LAYUP)

  • Julio Marcial, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Liberty Hill Foundation, LA

  • Anthony Montoya, Youth Representative, New Life Centers of Chicagoland

The conversation is a continuation of the Obama Foundation’s Anguish and Action initiative launched at the town hall with President Obama in June of 2020. Since that time hundreds of thousands have accessed the Foundation’s resources and action steps, more than 300 mayors accepted the Reimagining Policing Pledge and dozens of new cities have accepted the MBK Community Challenge.

Hosted in partnership by the Obama Foundation's My Brother's Keeper Alliance, the National League of Cities (Opens in a new tab), and Bloomberg Associates (Opens in a new tab), the MBK Leadership Forum is a two-day event including plenary and breakout sessions as well as opportunities for connection among MBK Community leaders and partners. The event will cover topics including:

  • Harnessing influence and the information age to drive more thoughtful, responsive, and equitable narratives about boys and young men of color;

  • How philanthropy has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how philanthropic partners can best support local-based organizations;

  • Mayoral leadership in navigating challenges and driving positive outcomes for boys and young men of color;

  • Crafting action plans and policy priorities that advance racial and economic equity

“The past year has been filled with tragedy and trauma for boys and young men of color and their families, but we are encouraged that the unprecedented activism driven by diverse young people can lead to lasting change,” said Michael D. Smith, Executive Director of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. “The cross-sector, cross-generational coalitions in MBK Communities across the country are perfectly poised to help shape policy and programmatic solutions that disrupt broken systems, reduce barriers and expand opportunity.”

The MBK Leadership Forum will also feature the release of the MBK Equity Framework, a new blueprint for communities looking to change social conditions for the nation’s boys and young men of color. The MBK Equity Framework offers practical steps and tools to build people power and processes that change policies, institutions, and systems impacting boys and men of color. Upon release, the MBK Equity Framework will be available for download on

To learn more about the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, visit


Contact: Courtney D. Williams, Obama Foundation, [email protected]