My Brother's Keeper

November 6, 2014 10:40 AM

A recent White House report identified significant challenges that boys and young men of color continue to face. Among several other findings, the White House report states that Black, American Indian, and Hispanic children are between six and nine times more likely than white children to live in areas of concentrated poverty. Additionally, black males accounted for 43% of murder victims in 2011, despite accounting for only 6% of the overall population, making homicide the leading cause of death for black males. These are only two of the concerning statistics that were discovered.

In response, President Obama launched the "My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge", an initiative focusing on these issues. The six focus area of the project are entering school ready to learn; reading at grade level by third grade; graduating from high school ready for college and career; completing post secondary education or training; successfully entering the workforce, and reducing violence as we provide a second chance.

I am proud to say that I accepted the challenge this September. We have formed a planning team consisting of community partners including the City of Madison Common Council, United Way of Dane County, African American Council of Churches, 100 Black Men, The African American Communication and Collaboration Council, and the Latino Support Network. I am really pleased that we have such a dedicated team committed to collaborating on this crucial issue. The team has planned an initial community action summit to be held this November. The purpose of the summit will be to determine which of our six areas of focus each community stakeholder is best suited to address.

I encourage Madison residents to keep an eye out for updates on this project as we progress and work to make lasting changes in our community

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