Featured Photo Image Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
My Brother’s Keeper was launched in February 2014 by President Barack Obama to provide young black men with ongoing mentorship. It is specifically designed to help them succeed in school and find jobs.
At the launch event held in the East Room of the White House (02/27/14), Obama explained why he started the program:
“I could see myself in these young men. And the only difference is that I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving, so when I made a mistake the consequences were not as severe.” – Barack Obama, The White House Official Speech Release
He also added that in our society, there are “groups who’ve seen fewer opportunities that have spanned generations. And by almost every measure, the group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century in this country are boys and young men of color.”
Celebrities like Michael B. Jordan and Kendrick Lamar have gotten involved by sharing their own stories. In a PSA called “Mentor In Real Life,” Jordan credits his success to having parents and other caring adults in his life.
When Kendrick Lamar visit Obama, he sat down to discuss solutions to inner-city problems and the importance of having mentoring programs for youth.
According to the official site, over 250 communities in all 50 states are participating in the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, so Obama’s White House departure will not mark the end of it.
“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency, but for the rest of my life.” – President Barack Obama, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Launch Event, May 5, 2015
Check out a recap of Kendrick Lamar’s visit to the White House below: