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Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Richard Whately stated, “It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.”

Richard Whately’s quote expresses the growing problem with minorities in the United States. For years, minorities have experienced consist suffering that has created a “domino effect” throughout many generations. Neglecting the idea of repairing issues within minority populations is leading to a future of poverty and depression.

On February 27th, 2014, President Obama took a step toward changing the future of not only minorities but all Americans. He is focusing especially on younger generations. President Obama enforced a new White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. My Brother’s Keeper was created to implement strategies to keep young minority men in school and out of any chaos. There will be a partnership with businesses and foundations with the goal of creating a better future for at-risk young men. Currently, groups have invested $150 million in the program and pledged another $200 million over the next years.

This initiative is an excellent attempt to change the negative problems that minorities, in this case young minority males, face in the world. But is it too late? Currently, young minority men need mentorship and direction. Issues such as parental absence, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse are corrupting the standards and progress for young minority men. Hopefully, through this program, other important subjects, vital to the success of young minority men, will be addressed to prevent trouble or problem.

Recently, The Education Department recently issued new “zero tolerance” school disciplinary after studies found that minorities were more likely than whites to be suspended for infractions. Students who miss class time due to suspensions are less likely to graduate. Many young men of color, during the suspension, are more likely to find themselves in potentially dangerous situations. This is just a prime example as to why this iniative needs to be extended.

President Obama, as he presented this new initiative at the White House, expressed that, “Government, private sector, philanthropy, and all the faith communities, we all have a responsibility to help provide you the tools you need. We’ve got to help you knock down some of the barriers that you experience. But you’ve got responsibilities too. And I know you can meet the challenge, many of you already are, if you make the effort.”

This will take effort from the government, families, and the young men that have been given this opportunity. I am encouraged. This is a step in the right direction. We have to continue to create pipelines of success for young men who look like me. Our country depends on it.

Written by IMPACT intern Paul Chambers

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