MENTOR Applauds One Year of Action on My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
March 6th, 2015
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BOSTON — On the one-year anniversary of the launch of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) expresses deep appreciation for the Administration’s elevation of a movement to drive expanded connection and opportunity for youth of color. We are proud to collaborate with those working in partnership to uplift the potential of our youth when supported on their path to adulthood. Through these efforts, mentoring has been identified as a key leverage point for providing consistent support for youth to strive and thrive.

“One year ago, the President challenged the corporate and philanthropic sector to increase investments and engagement in efforts to support boys and young men of color whose opportunities have been stunted for too long. In doing so, he elevated the critical role that quality mentoring plays in supporting our young people and strengthening our communities,” said David Shapiro, President and CEO of MENTOR. “We have leveraged this opportunity to elevate the importance of systemic approaches to getting caring adult mentors into the lives of young people who need them most, and the resulting change in outcomes.”

In 2014 MENTOR engaged in several partnerships based on the platform created by the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. As part of a new partnership with the NBA family, on December 25, 2014, a public service announcement was broadcast nationally during all NBA games with the call to action for viewers to “be someone who matters to someone who matters” by becoming mentors. The PSA directed viewers to MENTOR’s volunteer search engine to connect with local mentoring opportunities.

In January 2015, AT&T announced an investment in a public-private partnership between MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service AmeriCorps VISTA program that will reach more than 3,000 young people through work to strengthen the capacity of 150 mentoring programs nationwide.  Both of these partners and MENTOR were highlighted by the White House in the recent one-year anniversary report as successful models of the increased engagement, investment, and leadership mobilized by My Brother’s Keeper.

In addition, MENTOR with support from the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement, developed and launched a curriculum and training series for mentors working with young Black men and boys. The curriculum focuses on moving mentors beyond cultural competence and towards an integration of critical consciousness to better prepare them to work with African-American male mentees.

The 2015 National Mentoring Summit convened by MENTOR featured a panel discussion focused on the “Rallying the Call of My Brother’s Keeper” that explored the progress and potential of the initiative. The panelists represent leaders in the movement, including, Marco Davis, Deputy Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Shawn Dove, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Dr. Shireen Lewis, Executive Director, EduSeed and Founder, SisterMentors, Dr. Michael Kimmel, Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, Stony Brook University and Michael Smith, Special Assistant to President Obama, Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for My Brother’s Keeper, and Robert Thornton, Skillman Foundation.

MENTOR’s recent research shows that among other positive outcomes, youth with a mentor are more likely to go on to college and participate in civic engagement themselves. When young people succeed in school and career, their families benefit, our communities thrive and our nation is stronger as a result of this “mentoring effect.” One in three youth reach age 19 without this critical asset and MENTOR’s mission is to close this mentoring gap and provide quality mentoring relationships for all youth.

Looking to a new year, MENTOR stands inspired by those who continue to prioritize the needs of young people, particularly youth of color. Each day we come together to uplift the nation’s next generation, we are ensuring a better world. View the complete My Brother’s Keeper Year One Task Force report, released by The White House.