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December 2020 My Brother's Keeper Alliance Newsletter

Young boy watching President Obama

I Am My Brother's Keeper

Whatever plans we had for 2020 were thrown out the window this spring. Instead, we listened to the needs of our youth and communities, pivoted quickly, and redoubled our commitment to changemakers working to dismantle the broken systems that stand in the way of our boys and young men reaching their full potential.From a global pandemic to police violence, in 2020 we truly saw the worst of times, but the best of the American spirit of speaking up, reaching back and helping out. Together, we responded to Congressman John Lewis’ words from our MBK town hall this summer to “be bold, brave, and courageous” and got just a little closer “to redeeming the soul of America and creating a community at peace with itself.” Read my full end-of-year reflection and highlights from the year in the newsletter below.

Michael Smith signature

MBK Community Challenge Competition Year-One Update

Impact and Seed Communities Exceeding Expectations

Two years ago, after a nationwide search, we selected a handful of exceptional community-based organizations as national models of what it takes to reduce youth violence, grow effective mentorship programs, and measurably improve the lives of boys and young men of color.

One year into our $5 million investment into those 19 organizations across ten states and Puerto Rico, nearly 7,000 additional young people have been served with over 1,000 connected to employment opportunities.

Wake County families at the Summer Park & Play: Drive-in Movie at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds hosted in partnership with My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper Wake County
MBK Orlando
Local Funding
Edmund P. Lewis, Manager, MBK Durham

How Local Funding Helped to Expand MBK Communities in 2020

While the COVID-19 crisis has left individuals and organizations within MBK Communities rethinking strategies to meet the current new normal, many organizations have also seen an increased interest in their work due to their commitment to building an anti-racist society, alongside their ability to shift programmatic and organizational focus to rapid response emergency relief.

Read how MBK Communities are stepping up and stepping into this moment with innovation, creativity, and endurance—resulting in a boost in funding for communities like Durham, Orlando, Wake County, and others.

Yonkers My Brother’s Keeper: How the mayor's office, school district, and the community unite to support our youth

What Works: Yonkers My Brother’s Keeper

The mayor's office, school district, and the community unite to support our youth

Under the leadership of Dr. Jim Bostic, Dr. Edwin Quezada, and Mayor Mike Spano, Yonkers MBK has served as a model jurisdiction for the State of New York and has presided over the expansion of the network throughout the Lower Hudson Valley.

Dane Washington Jr

MBK Young Leader Spotlight: Dane Washington Jr.

Inspiring hope in Denver, one student at a time

One of MBK Denver’s 25 Emerging Leaders in 2020, Dane Washington Jr. supports boys and young men of color through philanthropy, advocacy, and education. By expanding his family’s nonprofit, collaborating with local elected officials, and spearheading social media campaigns, he’s bringing positivity and meaningful change to his community, each and every day. Check out our Q&A with Dane.

Helping MBK Communities Keep Moving in Challenging Times

Our work with the LyftUp Access Alliance

In August, we joined the LyftUp Access Alliance to provide access to free Lyft rides to MBK Impact and Seed Communities. Learn more about how these rides have helped them to continue their critical work during these challenging times.