COLUMBUS, OH – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Columbus community leaders to help launch the first-ever statewide coalition of the “My Brother’s Keeper” (MBK) program in Columbus. My Brother’s Keeper was launched by President Obama as a national initiative to address the opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color, and to ensure all young people reach their full potential.
“All of the work by everyone here today is so critical to making MBK a success,” said Brown. “We need a long-term strategy that allows all our students to reach their full potential—not one that accepts that an entire segment of our citizens will grow up with limited options.”
MBK Ohio will work with local chapters to offer support and provide resources that help Ohio communities sustain and grow their local MBK chapters. Brown’s office worked closely with The Ohio State University and the Kirwan Institute to develop this statewide My Brother’s Keeper coalition.
“All of us have a role to play in lifting up our youth. MBK Ohio will bring together advocates and communities to promote action, investment, and policies that create more opportunities for our young people,” said Kyle Strickland of the Kirwan Institute.
MBK Ohio is aligned with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper national initiative with the goal of ensuring that all youth receive a quality high school education and graduate with the skills and tools needed to advance to postsecondary education or training.
Brown has been a champion of the My Brother’s Keeper program in Ohio, leading efforts to launch local My Brother’s Keeper initiatives in Springfield, Toledo, Mansfield, Lorain County, the Mahoning Valley, and Stark County. He has also highlighted programs in Dayton, Columbus, Akron, and Cleveland with Broderick Johnson, President Obama’s Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.
In September 2014, President Obama issued a challenge to cities across the country to become “MBK Communities.” This challenge represents a call to action and encourages communities to implement a coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategy for improving the life outcomes of all young people to ensure that they can reach their full potential, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born. Nearly 200 mayors, tribal leaders, and county executives across 43 states and the District of Columbia have accepted the MBK Community Challenge.
The six goals of the Challenge are:
- Ensuring all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally ready;
- Ensuring all children read at grade level by 3rd grade;
- Ensuring all youth graduate from high school;
- Ensuring all youth complete post-secondary education or training;
- Ensuring all youth out of school are employed; and
- Ensuring all youth remain safe from violent crime.
Community leaders can lay the groundwork for an MBK Community in four steps:
1. Accept President Obama’s Challenge.
2. Convene a “Local Action Summit” to build an MBK Community.
3. Conduct a policy review and form recommendations for action.
4. Launch a plan of action, next steps, and a timetable for review.