Obama again turning to pen and phone

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President Obama will announce an initiative on Thursday designed to help keep young minority men in school and out of jail.

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The program, dubbed “My Brother’s Keeper,” will ask businesses and foundations to fund programs across the country designed to support men of color in school and reduce their "negative interactions with the criminal justice system." A White House official told The Washington Post, which first reported the initiative, that those interventions “have been shown to have the greatest impact” on urban youths.

Examples will include efforts to bolster literacy, "disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline," and initiatives designed to prevent "unnecessary confinement" while keeping communities safe, a White House official told The Hill.

The Obama administration will then launch an effort that evaluates the programs in hopes of encouraging other foundations, religious groups and corporations to fund proven strategies in the future.

"We'll also share what we learn with the public in order to help others replicate best practices," the official said.

The announcement is another example of his “pen and phone” strategy, designed to bypass Congress through the use of executive action and presidential persuasion.

Obama hinted at the initiative in his State of the Union address late last month.

“I'm reaching out to some of America's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing especially tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential,” Obama said in the speech.

In recent weeks, Obama has also rallied private corporations, foundations and universities to improve school access for poor children and end discrimination against the long-term unemployed in hiring practices.

During an interview with Fox News earlier this month, Obama defended his administration’s efforts to address problems within minority communities.

“We address it explicitly all the time. … Talking about the importance of men taking responsibility for their children. Talking about the importance of young people delaying gratification. Talking about the importance of when it comes to child rearing, paying child support, spending time with your kids, reading with them. So, whether it’s getting publicity or not is a whole different question,” Obama said.

Obama also said he’d be convening “philanthropists and business people, city by city, who are interested in addressing these kinds of problems at the local level.”

— This post was updated at 9:46 a.m.