National Leaders Gather to Discuss Expanding Opportunity for Young People of Color

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
May 16th, 2016
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WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, May 17, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Congressional My Brother’s Keeper Caucus will cohost a briefing to explore how mentoring can strengthen the pathway to success for young people of color, helping them navigate the transition from school to work and from childhood to adulthood.

Panelists will discuss research and practice, as well as highlight programs, trends and campaigns related to youth mentoring, including: emerging evidence from research, best practices from practitioners in the field, and topics like cultural competency, and strengths-based approaches to mentoring.

Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for My Brother’s Keeper, Michael Smith will moderate the panel discussion.  Panelists include:

  • Michael A. DeVaul, YMCA of Greater Charlotte
  • Albert Dotson, Jr., Blizin, Sumberg, Baena, Price & Axelrod, 100 Black Men of America, and White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans
  • Noelle Hurd, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
  • David Shapiro, CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
  • Paul V. Wilson, Administrative Director, School Operations, 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project
  • Malcolm Johnson, Executive Director, Real Estate Banking & Edgar Dacto, TFI Fellow, JP Morgan Chase (Mentor-Mentee pair in “The Fellowship Initiative” program)
  • Tom Sanders, Former Boston Celtics Player, The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Though many young people in communities of color do have access to caring adults and mentors, data suggests that boys and young men of color are disproportionately disconnected from non-parental adult advocates, mentors, and ultimately opportunity.

Research puts the national rate of disconnection at 21.6 percent for black youth, and 20.3 percent and 16.3 percent for Native American and Latino youth, respectively – significantly higher than Asian American (7.9 percent) or white youth (11.3 percent).  These young people are cut off from guidance and support at an age when their adult identities, experiences, skills, and opportunities are developing, complicating a smooth transition to opportunity in adulthood.

“We are privileged to participate in a national discussion about the prevalence and effects of relationship poverty and what we can do to ensure we identify youth without support, and intervene to bolster them with the real life connections that offer stability and possibility.  My Brother’s Keeper serves as a powerful accelerator in recognizing, advocating and closing the support and opportunity gap,” MENTOR CEO David Shapiro said.

The briefing is part of an ongoing discussion about the importance of quality mentoring relationships and the powerful impact of mentoring on the lives of young people, particularly boys and young men of color.


About MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR’s mission is to close the “mentoring gap” and ensure our nation’s young people have the support they need through quality mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school, and ultimately, work. To achieve this, MENTOR collaborates with its network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and works to drive the investment of time and money into high impact mentoring programs and advance quality mentoring through the development and delivery of standards, cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art tools. Connect with MENTOR on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Contact: Liz Hardy| Director, Marketing and Communications| 617.303.4617|