The White House is partnering with mayors and community leaders to develop a “cradle to college and career strategy” for young men of color, President Obama is set to announce at Saturday’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner.

The “Community Challenge” initiative will be the latest effort of the “My Brother’s Keeper” program, a bid by Obama to find ways for the federal government to offer greater assistance to minority men.

{mosads}“By partnering with Mayors and other local leaders, we believe we can help communities become better equipped to tackle the challenges that too many youth face — from ensuring that our schools provide a quality education that will prepare them for good careers, to making sure we have a fair criminal justice system,” a White House official said.

The “My Brother’s Keeper” program has been central to the White House’s response to unrest following the killing of a pair of young black men: Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

The administration has solicited over $200 million in private donations to be dispersed over the next five years into child development, school readiness, parent engagement, literacy, and school discipline reform programs. And Obama has asked friends — including NBA stars like Chris Paul and Magic Johnson — and administration officials to help create tutoring programs, and held a series of events where he’s spoken candidly about his own childhood struggles with drug use and being abandoned by his father. 

“The president’s commitment to this couldn’t be stronger,” Broderick Johnson, the president’s Cabinet Secretary and the head of the program, said in an interview with The Hill last month. “And it’s a real honor to work as I do, on this for him, because I know how much this matters to him.”

The White House will release full details of the program and a list of communities that have elected to participate next week.

Separately, Obama will use the dinner to “discuss the progress our country has made throughout his time in office and how he will work to address the challenges that remain in communities across the country,” the White House official said.


Tags Barack Obama My Brother's Keeper
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