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Obama announces ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative

Herb Boyd | 3/6/2014, 7:45 a.m.
President Barack Obama's “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative for young men of color is promising.
President Barack Obama announced "My Brother's Keeper" initiative.

The unemployment and the incarceration rates of young Black men were key points in Rep. Charles Rangel’s endorsement of the measure. “I am honored to be invited by President Obama to the White House to support his launch of ‘My Brother’s Keeper,’ a new initiative to help every boy and young man of color who is willing to do the hard work to get ahead. Growing up in the streets of Harlem, I was able to go to law school with the help of the G.I. Bill and great mentors in the community. I know firsthand the value of providing opportunities to those who may not have adequate resources to begin with,” he said in a press statement.

During his announcement, Obama observed that Bill O’Reilly and the Rev. Al Sharpton were among those in attendance, and he made a point of saying their attendance despite their often differing opinions was a possible indication of the success of his initiative.

At the close of his remarks, the president offered a more sweeping concern: “We need to give every child—no matter what they look like, where they live—a chance to reach their full potential, because if we do, if we help these wonderful young men become better husbands and fathers and well-educated hardworking good citizens, then not only will they contribute to the growth and prosperity of this country, but they will pass the lessons on to their children, on to their grandchildren. We’ll start a different cycle, and this country will be richer and stronger for it for generations to come. So let’s get going.”