My Brother's Keeper -- One Year Later

President Obama launches MBK initiative

Recently the White House released the one year progress report on the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Initiative, a call to action for the entire nation to come together and tear down the persistent barriers of inequality that our young men of color face. The report details major initiatives that companies, philanthropies, agencies, municipalities and individuals have developed in answering President Obama’s entreaty.

Here in Boston, the President’s call was answered by Mayor Marty Walsh. The Mayor has launched a city wide movement surrounding My Brother’s Keeper. One of Mayor Walsh’s efforts includes the creation the My Brother’s Keeper Advisory Committee.  The Committee is chaired by Boston’s Chief of Health & Human Services Felix Arroyo and Chief of Economic Development John Barros. The committee is a joining together of youth workers, non-profits, businesses, city officials, educators, police officers, community organizations and engaged youth. The group is focused on improving education, health, employment, safety and civic engagement for our young people. Over the past six months the MBK Advisory Committee has met and conducted public forums along with developing a city-wide work plan centered on increasing employment opportunities for Boston youth. Mass Mentoring Partnership’s CEO Marty Martinez is proud to serve on the committee.

In addition, Mass Mentoring Partnership is working in collaboration with the City of Boston on the Mayor’s Mentoring Movement. Started in January by Mayor Walsh, the Mayor’s Mentoring Movement is dedicated to pooling the resources of the City, Mass Mentoring Partnership and our partner programs to recruit 1,000 new mentors for Boston youth, with 10 percent of those being City employees. Over the next two years, we will work with the City to increase awareness of the need for adult mentors through the Mayor’s Mentoring Movement, our mentoring programs, and individual mentors.  The result of the Mayor’s initiative will be a Boston strengthened through new empowering youth-adult relationships. To date, almost 300 Bostonians have submitted inquiries to become mentors through the Mayor’s Mentoring Movement.

Most importantly, Mass Mentoring Partnership is proud to be part of the larger discussion of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Challenge going on all around the nation. Mass Mentoring Partnership represents a piece of a mosaic that includes organizations like the NBA, municipalities like Chicago, Lansing, New York, Philadelphia and companies like AT&T, Citi Foundation and JP Morgan & Chase.

It has been a powerful experience over the past year to see individuals and groups come together to better the future of America’s youth. But our work is far from finished. Mass Mentoring Partnership will continue to work with others to meet President Obama’s call to the nation to eliminate the barriers that prevent our young people from meeting their full potential.