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My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Hosts Pathways to Success: Boys and Young Men of Color Opportunity Summit in Newark, NJ

In February, more than 500 Newark youth, including boys and young men of color, will have the opportunity to interact and interview with employers, be hired on-the-spot, and receive other tools and resources.

Washington, DC – On February 27, 2018, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an initiative of the Obama Foundation, will host its final “Pathways to Success: Boys and Young Men of Color Opportunity Summit.” In partnership with the City of Newark, Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Prudential Financial, Inc., My Brother’s Keeper Newark, and the Prudential Center, the event will provide local youth, including boys and young men of color, with access to hiring opportunities, community resources, and social services in Newark. Participants will receive career preparation and leadership development training and will be interviewed by potential employers, with some employers offering on-the-spot hiring.

During the day-long Opportunity Summit, Newark youth will be provided career training and job opportunities with companies including Prudential, Starbucks, AutoZone, and Whole Foods. Job exploration and community resource partners will also be on hand to connect youth with a diverse array of tools and services, ranging from resume writing to ongoing mentorship opportunities.

“We could not be more thrilled to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative by joining Mayor Baraka, Prudential, and the citizens of Newark to demonstrate what it looks like when a city goes all in for its most vulnerable youth,” said Michael Smith, Director of MBK Alliance and Youth Opportunity Programs at the Obama Foundation. “Newark was one of the first cities to accept President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, and has been devoted to the mission ever since. We’re proud to bring the Opportunity Summit to Newark to ignite the tremendous efforts underway to ensure every young person in the city knows they are valued and has every opportunity to achieve their dreams.”

Since 2016, MBK Alliance has hosted three Opportunity Summits in Oakland, Detroit, and Memphis which resulted in over 1,000 on-the-spot job offers to participants. At the upcoming Opportunity Summit in Newark, MBK Alliance expects to connect more than 500 attendees to employment opportunities, leadership training, and community resources. Nationally, nearly 7 million young people between the ages of 16-24 are out of school or not working; roughly 7,000 of these young people are in Newark alone, the majority of whom are young men of color. The Opportunity Summit is designed to catalyze local youth employment efforts, such as Newark 2020, while fortifying youth with the tools they need to overcome barriers and place them on the pathway to success. After the Opportunity Summit, My Brother’s Keeper Newark, and its partners will follow up with participants and provide them with myriad services to encourage their continued success.

“Changing the life path for boys and young men of color begins with recognizing racial and economic injustice exists. The Pathways to Success: Boys and Young Men of Color Opportunity Summit challenges that injustice by empowering young men and boys of color with education, social service, mentoring, training and, employment opportunities,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “We are impacting young people and enabling them to achieve the potential needed for their own success and the future of Newark.”

Lata Reddy, senior vice president, diversity, inclusion & impact, Prudential Financial, Inc., said, “Since our founding, Prudential has been committed to creating both economic and social opportunity for all. It is this commitment that led us to be one of the first corporations to pledge support when President Obama announced the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in 2014.” “Over the years, Prudential has deepened our efforts in creating pathways for economic mobility for boys and young men of color, especially in our hometown of Newark. Hosting the Pathways to Success: Boys and Young Men of Color Opportunity Summit in Newarkin partnership with Mayor Baraka and the Obama Foundationis another step to creating inclusive growth for both the city and its residents.”

The Newark Opportunity Summit will be the last such event hosted by MBK Alliance. Going forward, MBK Alliance will work to accelerate impact in targeted communities, mobilize citizens and resources, and promote what works — all with the goal of encouraging mentorship, reducing youth violence, and, improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color.

Prudential is the principal sponsor of the MBK Alliance Pathways to Success: Boys and Young Men of Color Opportunity Summit, a reflection of Prudential’s commitment to developing pathways to meaningful employment and expanding opportunities for local Newark youth and communities across the globe.

Youth can register for the event or find more information here. More information for press and media interested in attending will be released soon.

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President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper in February 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential. In 2015 the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) was launched, inspired by My Brother’s Keeper, to scale and sustain the mission. In late 2017, MBK Alliance became an initiative of the Obama Foundation. Within the Obama Foundation, MBK Alliance leads a cross-sector national call to action focused on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity. www.obama.org/MBKA

Contact: Rae Robinson Trotman, [email protected]

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