My Brother's Keeper Communities Challenge

Disclaimer: The views expressed in ALL VIDEOS are those of the author

and should not be attributed to the UNITED DIALYSIS FOUNDATION, INC.

About the Challenge

In February, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative to ensure that all youth, including boys and young men of color, have opportunities to improve their life outcomes and overcome barriers to success.  As part of that launch, the President also established the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force (Task Force) to review public and private sector programs, policies, and strategies, and determine ways the Federal Government can better support these efforts.  The Task Force was also charged with determining how to better involve State and local officials, the private sector, and the philanthropic community.  In late May, the Task Force released its 90-day interim progress report, which identified a set of recommendations and a blueprint for action for government, business, non-profit, philanthropic, faith, and community partners.  

Since the launch of MBK, the Task Force has met with and heard from thousands of Americans, through online and in-person listening sessions, who are already taking action.  In June, responding to their commitment announced at the MBK launch, eleven of the nation's leading philanthropies announced $194 million in independent incremental investments in organizations and initiatives, including programs to enhance school learning environments and reduce young people’s interaction with the justice system.  In July, President Obama announced new independent commitments by businesses and nonprofits representing more than $100 million dollars and pledges of support from educators, business leaders, athletes, and mayors aimed at addressing some of the report’s recommendations.  Also in July, the National Convening Council (NCC) was launched as an independent private sector initiative bringing together leaders from business, philanthropy and the faith, youth, Tribal, local, and nonprofit communities. 

On September 27th, the President announced that more than 100 mayors, county officials and tribal nations (full list below) have already accepted the “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge” (“MBK Community Challenge” or “Challenge”), the next step in organizing and building upon the work of community leaders to improve outcomes for youth in America. 

In February 2014, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. The My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge seeks to inspire community leaders, and encourage their commitment to ensuring all young people can succeed.

The My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge encourages communities to convene leaders, identify effective strategies, and work together toward achieving these goals:

1.     Ensuring all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready;

2.     Ensuring all children read at grade level by third grade;

3.     Ensuring all youth graduate from high school;

4.     Ensuring all youth complete post-secondary education or training;

5.     Ensuring all youth out of school are employed; and

6.     Ensuring all youth remain safe from violent crime.

The urgency of the situation requires a sustained effort from all of us. Local leadership is essential to building partnerships and developing plans of action to ensure a brighter future for all young people. That’s why the President is issuing a challenge to cities, towns, counties, and Tribal Nations to commit to building “My Brother’s Keeper Communities” and implementing a coherent cradle-to-college and career strategy, consistent with the goals and recommendations of the May 28, 2014 report of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, to ensure that all young people can succeed.

Across the country, business leaders, non-profits, foundations, and local school systems are stepping up to answer the President’s call to action. Local elected officials and tribal leaders know what it takes to build sustainable change. Will you join us?