President Barack Obama launched the “My Brother’s Keeper” program earlier this year to develop strategies to help boys and young men “overcome barriers to success.”
Now the administration wants to encourage local officials to plan a “coherent cradle-to-career strategy,” according to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro.
On a conference call Tuesday with the news media, Castro, along with other federal officials and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, said the “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge” is not a top-down federal effort, but an opportunity for local leaders to collaborate and create their specifically-tailored plans.
“We shouldn’t expect our children to beat the odds in order to get ahead,” Castro said.
Minneapolis is one of almost 150 cities that have signed onto the challenge. Hodges said it could not have come at a better time for the city.
“While we are one great city, we are not a great city for everyone, and we need everybody to be able to contribute to and benefit from our greatness,” she said. “A child’s opportunities in life are too often shaped by factors beyond his or her control.”
Castro said participating communities would host a Local Action Summit with key stakeholders to determine on which of six main goals they will focus. At the end of the process, about six months later, the community will publish its completed plan of action to accomplish those objectives.