Washington, DC - Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener, Black Women's Roundtable Public Policy Network, issued the following statement about President Obama's new initiative "My Brothers Keeper":
"I was galvanized and honored to be present to witness the launch of President Barack Obama's bold new initiative, "My Brothers Keeper", that will focus on providing opportunities for boys and young men of color. "My Brothers Keeper" Initiative is committed to utilizing proven tools to ensure access to basic health and nutrition, provide high-quality early education, and help young men stay in school and find a good job.
"Clearly boys and young men of color have lagged behind for years. Data demonstrates that they are exceedingly at-risk from grade school through adulthood. Disparities remain in reading proficiencies proficiencies, unemployment rates, incarceration rates and murder rates. The school-to-prison pipeline is a reality for youth of color as they have disproportionately more contacts with police than whites - in school and on the streets.
"It will take the hard work of our entire village to tackle the issues facing boys and men of color in America. The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Black Women's Roundtable Public Policy Network are eager to work in collaboration with President Obama and his Administration, our partner organizations and others to provide ladders of opportunity for our youth. Empowering boys and young men of color will uplift girls and young women of color, strengthen communities of color, and fortify America as a whole. As Americans, we should all commit to being 'My Brothers Keeper.'"