FACT SHEET: At National Summit White House Announces New Support of My Brother’s Keeper

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
December 15th, 2016
Posted In:

“I want you to know you matter.  You matter to us.  You matter to each other.  There’s nothing, not a single thing, that’s more important to the future of America than whether or not you and young people all across this country can achieve their dreams.” –President Barack Obama

In February 2014 President Obama launched MBK, a call to action to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and ensure all young people can reach their full potential. In response to the President’s call to action, new federal policy initiatives, grant programs, and guidance are being implemented to ensure that every child has a clear pathway to success from cradle to college and career. Nearly 250 communities in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 19 tribal nations have accepted the MBK Community Challenge, executing their own robust plans to ensure that all young people can achieve their full potential. And, more than $1 billion in private sector and philanthropic grants, in-kind resources, and low-interest financing have been committed to advance the goals of MBK and scale solutions that work.

Today at the White House, nearly 300 leaders from MBK Community Challenge cities, towns, counties and tribal nations, federal, state and local policy makers and business, foundation and nonprofit executives will gather for the final MBK National Summit. The Summit will provide an opportunity to celebrate the progress, impact and future of this groundbreaking initiative, while highlighting new investments and infrastructure that will sustain and scale the initiative for the long-term. The Summit is being co-hosted by the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, the MBK Alliance, Bloomberg Associates, and the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color.

New Federal Commitments in Support of MBK

  • National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center—Leveraging Early Warning Systems and MBK Success Mentors to Keep Kids on Track. In order to keep all of our students on track toward college and career success, ED launched the National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center (NSAEC) to support nationwide implementation prevention strategies, cross-sector partnerships, and Early Warning Systems (EWS) to prevent and address chronic absenteeism.  To promote cross-state and cross-sector sharing of best practices and innovative strategies to support the success of all students, the National Center will also build and host nationwide two communities of practice (CoP’S) to support schools, districts, and states to implement and sustain EWS; employ multi-sector prevention and intervention activities, including success mentors; improve student engagement and motivation; undertake comprehensive approaches to reducing and eliminating chronic absenteeism; and collaborate with peers at annual national convenings.  One CoP will be focused on Early Warning Systems and will be open to SIG schools, and the other will be targeted at the 30 My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Success Mentors cities.
  • Increasing Data Transparency to Understand and Develop Strategies to Improve Youth Outcomes. To encourage analyses of important life outcomes for all youth, including boys and young men of color, the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force compiled relevant statistical indicators from a range of federal data sources and made them available for download. Today, several of these indicators are now available through a set of My Brother’s Keeper APIs built by the U.S. Department of Education. APIs provide developer-friendly access to data. In this case, they allow third-party digital services to seamlessly incorporate My Brother’s Keeper data in real-time. Specifically, ED’s MBK APIs provide access to information on 18- to 24-year-olds by race/ethnicity and sex, including high school dropout rates; college enrollment and graduation rates; rates of disconnected youth (who are neither working nor in school); imprisonment rates; and labor force participation rates.
  • New Federal Investments to Meet the Needs of Current and Former Foster Youth. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), in consultation with the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will invest $1.35 million of Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act funds to provide technical assistance to public housing authorities participating in HUD’s Family Unification Plan and Family Self-Sufficiency Demonstration to connect emancipated foster youth and those exiting the foster care system with high quality Career and Technical Education programs that strengthen academic, technical and employability skills. Through this investment, OCTAE hopes to assist existing career technical education programs to better meet the needs of current and former foster youth. Delivering on MBK Task Force recommendations, the project also seeks to improve coordination among the child welfare system and other federally-funded programs.

Recent Federal Commitments in Support of MBK

  • New Regulations and Supporting Documents to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in IDEA. Delivering on MBK Task Force recommendations, the U.S. Department of Education published final regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that will address a number of issues related to significant disproportionality in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities based on race or ethnicity. The Department also released a new Dear Colleague Letter to remind states, school districts, and public schools of their legal obligation to prevent discrimination on the basis of race in special education.
  • Supporting Reentry Pathways for Youth Transitioning from Juvenile Justice Facilities. The Department of Education released new guidance and technical assistance materials that will help State and local leaders provide transition assistance to youth reentering the community from juvenile justice facilities. These resources, which are available at www.ed.gov/jjreentry, can help local systems provide strong support for youth transitioning out of juvenile justice facilities, to ensure that they are able to successfully rejoin their communities, continue their education, and fulfill their potential.
  • White House Report: The Continuing Need to Rethink Discipline. The White House released a new capstone report with updates about projects launched and local progress made in response to the Administration’s Rethink Discipline efforts. Rethink Discipline was launched as part of MBK and aims to support all students and promote a welcome and safe climate in schools. The full report is available HERE. The White House also convened stakeholders and leaders to discuss the progress made and the work ahead to encourage and support local leaders as they work to implement supportive school discipline practices.

New Private Sector Commitments in Support of MBK

  • Expanded Investment in MBK Community Challenge Acceptors in California. The California Endowment announced an additional commitment of $25 million over the next four years in support of healthier outcomes and improved well-being of boys and young men of color in California.  This commitment builds on an earlier pledge by the foundation, bringing the total support to a projected $75 million over seven years from 2013 to 2020.  These resources are supporting partnerships and other activities at the local level across the state of California, and are intended to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and replace it with a meaningful pathway to health and opportunity for young men of color.
  • Multiplying Commitment to Inspire and Recruit Mentors. In July of 2014, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced a five-year commitment to support My Brother’s Keeper. As part of this commitment, the NBA family partnered with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to support their “In Real Life” campaign and set a goal to recruit 25,000 new mentors over five years, with a focus on adult males of color. Less than three years into the partnership, already more than 25,000 Americans have signed up to become mentors and been connected directly to a mentoring program in their community. Going forward, the NBA family is renewing its commitment to mentoring by setting a new goal of increasing sign-ups by an additional 25,000 adult mentors. Find out more and get involved at www.mentoring.org
  • Expanding Support for the MBK Community Challenge. In 2017, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance will launch a wide array of investments available to the nearly 250 cities, towns, counties and tribal nations that accepted the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge communities, including: a comprehensive online support platform that will house local and national data dashboards, interactive mapping and milestone components, a webinar and events portal, and a curated resource library; a suite of online trainings to build a community of learning and practice around topics such as data and impact, leadership development, collective action management, institutional implicit bias, program design and delivery, and mentoring strategies; and building off of the success of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper National Summit, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance will host a national summit to explore “what works” in communities across the country, provide in-depth technical assistance to clusters of practitioners, and elevate successes and challenges to inform a national agenda for boys and young men of color in 2017.
  • New Data Dashboard Platforms to Support MBK Communities. In 2017, to help jurisdictions across the country better gather and share their equity data, Bloomberg Associates and PolicyLink will be working in partnership with MBKA to build an open platform for jurisdictions to produce their own MBK dashboards, merging administrative and social media data with national sources of information. The goal will be to provide clear guidance on how to pull data from agencies across city, county and state sources, and present it in a clear and unified way to allow local partners to know exactly how young men are faring in their jurisdictions, and to track progress. The platform will be free and accompanied by strong visualization tools, and the opportunity for comparative analysis across cities and states.