My Brother's Keeper Focus Areas

January 27, 2015 4:09 PM

Thank you to all of you who encouraged others to participate or participated directly in the My Brother's Keeper Youth Survey. As you may recall from blog posts in November ( http://www.cityofmadison.com/mayor/blog/?Id=6180 ) ( http://www.cityofmadison.com/mayor/blog/?Id=6222 ) the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge (MBK) is a White House issued challenge accepted by the City of Madison to implement programs and policies to improve life chances for boys and young men of color. The youth survey was conducted as part of the "policy review and recommendations for action" stage of the MBK challenge.

Since the MBK challenge directs involved cities to focus on two goals, the action team and I needed to determine which areas are most in need of our attention and resources. We wanted boys and young men of color to have the opportunity to choose the focus areas themselves.

Over 200 youth took the survey and shared their ideas and opinions. I cannot emphasize enough the value of the information survey participants provided. Although we asked broad questions on how we can solve complicated social problems and remove barriers to opportunities for our boys and young men of color, our youth exceeded our expectations, sharing thought provoking ideas, personal experiences, and even making some policy recommendations of their own!

Through the surveys, we have gained great insight into places where our Madison community could use improvement and identified our two My Brother's Keeper focus areas: ensure all students graduate from high school and ensure all children and young people remain safe from violent crime and receive second chances.

In the coming days and weeks, we will produce a report detailing our plan of action and policy recommendations to achieve these two goals. We will also determine a method to track our progress and share our data with the community.

Stay tuned for updates as the City of Madison enters the next stage of this challenge!

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