President Obama Visits the Bronx to Launch My Brother’s Keeper Alliance

Photo- Twitter: @PeteSouza
Photo- Twitter: @PeteSouza

Press Release:

US Congressman Jose E. Serrano joined President Barack Obama, other elected officials, advocates and public figures in the Bronx, NY at the launch of the My Brother’s Keeper’s Alliance, a new non-profit that will build on the work of the White House’s My Brother’s Keepers initiative to expand opportunity for men of color. The organization will be led by Joe Echevarria, former CEO of Deloitte LLP, who was born and raised in the South Bronx.

“In spite of all the progress we have made in expanding minorities’ access to equal opportunity in recent decades, our men and women of color continue facing persistent challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential. One group is disproportionally impacted by this reality and consistently faces opportunity and achievement gaps in comparison to other ethnic groups – boys and men of color.  From education to employment to addressing justice issues, there is an environment that young African-American and Latino men face that is starkly different than many of their peers.

“As recent events in different parts of our nation and as data shows, we need to do more to level the playing field for African-American and Latino men in this country by supporting their development, supporting them through every important milestone of their life, and making sure they have access to the resources, support, and opportunities they need to thrive, succeed and give back to their communities.  This is crucial to the success of our neighborhoods in the South Bronx, where far too many don’t have access to the opportunities that exist just a few miles away.  The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is a chance to invest and change the lives of millions of boys and young men of color.

“The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance will help expand the work started by the original initiative to address these problems from the root and close these gaps once and for all by supporting young men from cradle through career.  This effort is not only an investment in our youth, it is an investment in stronger communities and in a stronger America.

First launched by President Obama in 2014, the My Brother’s Keeper initiative is a public-private partnership aimed at addressing the barriers that keep young men of color from accessing equality of opportunity and achieving their goals. When the initiative was first unveiled, grant makers pledged more $200 million in funding through special programs over the span of five years. For the non-profit facet launched yesterday, private donors have already committed to donating $80 million to support the effort.

For more information about the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative visit:



My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a new independent nonprofit, will launch at an event being held at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY. President Obama will give remarks during the event and participate in a roundtable discussion with young men from New York and across the country.


In February 2014, the President launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure all youth can reach their full potential.  The initiative led to many conversations among leaders across sectors about the need to create a holistic, cross sector approach to address a range of challenges particularly affecting boys and young men of color.  There has been a growing sentiment among business leaders to not only engage in productive conversations, but to also significantly increase action being taken to address inequities these young people face.


Joe Echevarria heard the President’s call to action and has been leading the effort to form MBK Alliance with a group of like-minded peers. This new, independent private sector effort is an opportunity to not only elevate the conversation, but utilize strategic, evidence-based interventions from community, private, and social enterprise partners that tackle the achievement gaps from cradle to career.


The Challenge

Throughout American history, there have been significant opportunity and achievement gaps between boys and young men of color and their peers. Among African American and Hispanic males between ages 16 and 24, as much as 25 percent are considered disconnected – meaning they are neither in school nor employed. With poor education outcomes, lesser career skills and lower rates of employment, these young men face tougher odds in trying to reach their full potential.


Despite being one of the fastest-growing population segments, the American dream is largely out of reach for them. Closing these gaps will require a sustained long-term effort, requiring input from both the public and private sectors as we prepare for a new American century.


Why the Private Sector is Taking on This Mission

As the nation grows more diverse, businesses must evolve to address the needs of changing demographics. Labor projections suggest that by 2018, U.S. employers will need 22 million new workers with a post-secondary education – and will have only 19 million available. By 2020, the majority of Americans under the age of 18 will be persons of color. As it stands, the opportunity gap among boys and young men of color is a burden to the American economy:

·         A single disconnected young man costs society nearly $1 million over his lifetime.

·         High school graduates pay more taxes, draw less from social welfare programs and are less likely to commit crimes than drop-outs.

·         Research shows that closing the achievement gap between young men of color and their peers could increase the annual GDP by as much as $2.1 trillion.

The opportunity and achievement gap is both a challenge and a chance for innovative solutions. As our national demographics continue to evolve, interventions to improve education, career skills and achievement for boys and young men of color will be critical to the development of a skilled, sustainable workforce for the 21st century.


What Will My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Do?

In catalyzing a national ecosystem of support to help boys and young men of color, MBK Alliance will support program interventions targeting six key life milestones:

1.      Entering School Ready to Learn (Early Childhood)

2.      Reading at Grade Level by Third Grade (Middle Childhood)

3.      Graduating from High School Ready for College and Career (Adolescence)

4.      Completing Post-Secondary Education or Training (Adulthood Transition)

5.      Successfully Entering the Workforce (Adulthood)

6.      Reducing Violence and Providing a Second Chance (Throughout Life)

With commitments to date totaling over $80 million, MBK Alliance will start by:

·         Playbook for Corporations and Businesses – MBK Alliance developed a comprehensive guide to mobilize the private sector in addressing key obstacles facing young men of color;

·         Innovation Grants – MBK Alliance will disperse up to $7 million in grants to programs and organizations with proven, innovative intervention programs; and

·         Community Grants Competition – MBK Alliance will create a $15-25 million grants competition to reward up to nine communities with $3 million to build local infrastructure and capacity.

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Leadership

MBK Alliance includes a diverse group of leaders that include CEOs from Fortune 50 companies, high-profile entertainers, leading nonprofits and current and former government officials.

·         Board and Leadership Team:

o    Joe Echevarria, Chairman and CEO, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance

o    Alice Kwan, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

o    Alonzo Mourning, Former NBA Player, Miami Heat

o    Darryl Brown, President Americas Global Corporate Payments, American Express

o    David Williams, Public Policy, Government Affairs and Corporate Citizenship Leader, Deloitte LLP

o    Debra Lee, CEO, BET

o    George Logothetis, Chairman and CEO, The Libra Group

o    The Honorable Jim Shelton, Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education

o    John Legend, Honorary Chairman, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance; Founder, The Show Me Campaign

o    John Rogers, Chairman and CEO, Ariel Investments

o    Juan Sabater, Managing Director of Idea Generation and Execution, Valor Equity Partners

o    Lori Dickerson Fouché, CEO, Prudential Group Insurance

o    Marcelo Claure, CEO, Sprint

o    Marisa Lee, Managing Director, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance

o    Robert Raben, Founder/President, The Raben Group

o    Rosalind Brewer, CEO, Sam’s Club

o    Thomas Tull, CEO, Legendary Entertainment

o    Toni Cook Bush, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs, News Corporation

o    Tony West, EVP of Government Affairs, PepsiCo

o    Walter Isaacson, CEO, Aspen Institute

·         Advisory Council:

o    Allan Ludgate, Director, Deloitte Consulting

o    Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink

o    Anne Williams-Isom, CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

o    Brandon Yellowbird-Stevens, Councilmen Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin

o    Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative

o    Carol Lewis, Founder, Ground Control Parenting

o    General Colin Powell, Former U.S. Secretary of State

o    The Honorable Cory Booker, U.S. Senate

o    Dalila Wilson-Scott, Managing Director, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase

o    Danielle Gray, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

o    The Honorable Eric Holder, Former U.S. Attorney General

o    The Honorable Frederica Wilson, U.S. Congresswoman

o    Reverend Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition

o    Ignacio Salazar, National President and CEO, SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc.

o    Javier Palomarez, President and CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

o    Jerome Bettis, Former NFL Player, The Bus36

o    John Rice, Founder and CEO, Management Leadership for Tomorrow

o    Judith Browne Dianis, Co-Director, Advancement Project

o    The Honorable Greg Ballard, Mayor, City of Indianapolis, Indiana

o    The Honorable Kevin Johnson, Mayor, City of Sacramento, California

o    The Honorable Michael Nutter, Mayor, City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

o    Melody Barnes, Chair, Aspen Forum for Community Solutions

o    Michael Lombardo, CEO, Reading Partners

o    Michael Skolnik, President,

o    Nick Turner, President and Director, Vera Institute of Justice

o    Peggy McLeod, Deputy Vice President, National Council of La Raza

o    Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, Color of Change

o    Dr. Robert Ross, President and CEO, The California Endowment

o    Scott Budnick, Founder/President, Anti-Recidivism Coalition

o    Shaquille O’Neal, Former NBA Player

o    Shaun Harper, Executive Director for the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, University of Pennsylvania

o    Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

·         Social Enterprise Partners: National League of Cities, Opportunity Youth Network, PolicyLink, StriveTogether, United Way and Urban Institute

Corporate Commitments

A combined total of more than $80 million in in-kind and financial donations have been committed to the MBK Alliance:

·         American Express

·         Ariel Investments

·         Aspen Institute

·         BET Networks

·         Deloitte Consulting, LLP

·         Discovery Networks

·         Legendary Entertainment

·         The Libra Group

·         News Corporation

·         Valor Equity

·         PepsiCo

·         Prudential Group Insurance

·         The Raben Group

·         Sam’s Club

·         Sprint

​The Mission

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (“MBK Alliance”), a new, independent nonprofit, aims to eliminate the gaps in opportunity and achievement for boys and young men of color – making the American dream available to all. This will require strategic evidence-based interventions from community, private, public and social enterprise partners that holistically tackle these gaps from cradle to career.

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