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My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Applauds Camden Initiative to Address Critical Issues Facing Boys and Young Men of Color

CAMDEN — The City of Camden, New Jersey today announced that it has accepted the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge (“MBK Community Challenge”) as part of President Barack Obama’s call to holistically address the opportunity and achievement gaps faced by boys and young men of color.

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (“MBK Alliance”), the independent nonprofit organization that engages the private, public and social enterprise sectors in this effort, released the following statement in support of Camden’s efforts to restore economic security and help disconnected populations achieve their full potential: 

“We are pleased to see Camden accept President Obama’s challenge to tackle opportunity gaps and help make the American Dream accessible to all,” said Joe Echevarria, Board Chair of MBK Alliance. “One half of all black males have at least one arrest by age 23, compared to about 38 percent of their white peers in the same age range. In 2012, black males were six times more likely to be imprisoned than white males, while Hispanic males were two and a half times more likely. Compliance with the law starts not with the fear of getting caught or arrested, but with respect for one another and for the institutions that guide our communities. 

“As part of MBK Alliance’s holistic approach to ensuring opportunities for boys and young men of color, we cannot ignore the importance of improved community policing. Some of the innovative measures announced today will help police do their jobs more safely while strengthening relationships with citizens. Building that trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve is a key component of reducing violence and offering these boys and young men a second chance. 

“The MBK Community Challenge is in line with the mission of MBK Alliance: to implement evidence-based interventions from community, private, public and social enterprise partners that holistically tackle the challenges faced by boys and young men of color. As part of the My Brother’s Keeper network, Camden joins nearly 200 partners from across 44 states who are working to ensure young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We welcome their entry into this growing ecosystem, and commend their initiatives to innovate and improve community policing.”

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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.

Contact: [email protected]

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