Obama to announce initiative aimed at young black men
February 11th, 2014
08:30 AM ET
7 months ago

Obama to announce initiative aimed at young black men

Washington (CNN) – Continuing his push to use executive powers as a way of advancing his agenda, President Barack Obama will announce Thursday a new effort to help improve the lives of young African-American males.

A White House official said the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative would partner government with businesses to “make sure that every young man of color who is willing to work hard and lift himself up has an opportunity to get ahead and reach his full potential.”

Young African-American men are unemployed at a higher rate than the population at large, and are more likely than peers of other races to be incarcerated. Obama said during last month’s State of the Union address he was working with public and private partners to “help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.”

The plan, which the White House official said was “focused on implementing strategies that are proven to get results,” will convene business and foundation leaders to test strategies in various cities around the country designed to intervene at key moments in young men’s lives, including at school and in interactions with law enforcement.

Obama will also ask the federal government to assess what current plans are working and which are not effective in helping young men advance, which the goal of establishing consistent practices across agencies.

The event Thursday “has been months in the making,” the official said, adding the White House reached out to officials from both parties as well as faith and business leaders.

Among the young men invited are participants in the “Becoming a Man” group, a Chicago collective that Obama visited last year.

The President and first lady have spoken frequently recently on the plight of young African-American men, most recently in an interview with The New Yorker, where Obama highlighted the disproportionate number of minority men who are incarcerated for using marijuana.

“Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP teaparty clowns and bigots will somehow translate this into a racest rant AGAINEST president Obama . These GOP garbage and sewage of America communist party need to be sent to the garbage heep in November get out and vote in this very important election. The GOP wants and is counting on a lite turnout, let's suprise them, we ONLY NEED 17 SEATS TO TAKE THE HOUSE BACK for the American people . Vote in November people and get our country back on track WITHOUT the incompetent GOP fools!!!!!

    February 11, 2014 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. countingdown

    “make sure that every young man of color who is willing to work hard and lift himself up has an opportunity to get ahead and reach his full potential.”

    Why not help ALL young MEN/WOMEN who is willing to work hard and lift HIM/HERSELF up have an opportunity to get ahead and reach HIS/HER potential. Self serving political bs!

    February 11, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    In a plain English language, Republicans are Taliban party, they are "American-Al-Queda". Drive these idiots out in next election, including my senator/congress garbage.

    February 11, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. O'drama ya Mama

    countingdown

    “make sure that every young man of color who is willing to work hard and lift himself up has an opportunity to get ahead and reach his full potential.”

    Why not help ALL young MEN/WOMEN who is willing to work hard and lift HIM/HERSELF up have an opportunity to get ahead and reach HIS/HER potential. Self serving political bs!
    February 11, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I thought Republicans were about "personal responsibility"? So why do you want the President to help you?

    February 11, 2014 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. itsthesameoldbs

    another example of discrimination and racism

    February 11, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. emskadittle

    So the President was sitting around the oval office thinking "how can i make republicans heads explode"

    February 11, 2014 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. ghostwriter

    Of course, republicans that have been screaming about the unemployment rate of black folks for 5 years will see this as an attempt to throw race into the mix......

    Countingdown...I hope you felt the same way when they introduced measures to assist military folks get jobs. Or any other group that is having a disproportionately hard time finding a job.

    February 11, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  8. countingdown

    O'drama ya Mama

    He is the president of all Americans. He is doing this with executive action. At least respond to helping ALL young men/women instead of pointing your crooked finger at me!

    BTW, why are you always responding to others opinion rather than posting your own?

    February 11, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. tom l

    Pardon me, Mr. President, but every person in this country has the opportunity. Some clearly must work harder than others, but they all have the opportunity.

    February 11, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  10. Name Lolanyc

    @PoliticalTicker @cnnbrk
    Sat nit, c/o the downtown jail. See who is on the line for pubic defender and who hires their own defensive. It is about who could hire a better atty

    February 11, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The right wing cries bitter tears about the "moochers, takers and leeches", code for black people, yet they explode when someone tries to help them get back on their feet. Yeah, that's about right.

    February 11, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Counting down – if that is your opinion, you are wrong again.

    February 11, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. countingdown

    ghostwriter
    Come on now
    Pay attention, helping military families would help people of all sexes and races!
    ____ finding jobs! Find your own job. It is his job to help the economy so people can find jobs! Oh! Oh! Oh! But, but but, it was Bush's fault! NOT!

    February 11, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. countingdown

    Tampa Tim Counting down – if that is your opinion, you are wrong again.

    How so? Answer each part of what was written!

    February 11, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. love344

    great job Mr President!

    February 11, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Mr. President we thank you for your clarity of thought, your purpose and determination, and for your support.
    Pen AND rolodex Mr. President.
    Avail yourself of everything at your disposal.
    Ultimately you will respect his authority.

    February 11, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. Rusty Krus

    @countingdown
    ____ finding jobs! Find your own job. It is his job to help the economy so people can find jobs! Oh! Oh! Oh! But, but but, it was Bush's fault! NOT!

    Good morning "Just Sayin-Just Askin-Freedom-Ray E.-Why the new Pseudonym?

    February 11, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. S.B. Stein

    It would be nice to see major corporations to work on getting high schools in the poor districts proper funding for equipment and teachers in addtion to mentioring so that these kids are either on track to learn about advance manufacturing or STEM fields so that they can be the next inventor and advance their lives as well as the country. If the corporations were bothering to look forward, then this wouldn't as much of a problem nation wide. There is too much short term thinking.

    February 11, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    That's just more hand outs to blacks, while whites are ignored. It is nothing but reverse racism against whites.

    February 11, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |