The data proves it: Boys and young men of color — regardless of where they come from — are disproportionately at risk from their youngest years through college and the early stages of their professional lives.
By the time they hit fourth grade, 86 percent of African American boys and 82 percent of Hispanic and Native American boys are reading below proficiency levels — compared to 58 percent of white fourth graders reading below proficiency levels. Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2013 Reading Assessments
African American and Hispanic young men are more than six times as likely to be victims of murder than their white peers — and account for almost half of the country’s murder victims each year.
He’s announced a new initiative with leading foundations and businesses that will take a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color — and they’re getting to work immediately.
He signed a Presidential Memorandum establishing the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force to help determine which public and private efforts are working, how the Federal government can support those efforts, and how we can get more folks involved in those efforts across the board.
That doesn’t only benefit our kids facing tough circumstances — it benefits all Americans.
On February 27, 2014, in the East Room of the White House, President Obama delivered remarks at the launch event for My Brother’s Keeper – his new initiative aimed at addressing persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people who are willing to do the hard work to get ahead can reach their full potential. The initiative will bring together private philanthropies, businesses, governors, mayors, faith leaders, and nonprofit organizations to help break down barriers and clear pathways to opportunity.