COMMENTARY: Prominent Black Women Show Support For ‘My Brother’s Keeper’

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More than two-thirds of Black children live with one parent compared to one-third of Hispanic children. Moreover, research suggests that a father’s absence increases the risk of his child dropping out of school among Blacks by 75% percent and among Hispanics by 96% respectively.

The report also said the following foundations will together seek to invest at least $200 million in “My Brother’s Keeper” – The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The California Endowment, The Ford Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Open Society Foundations, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kapor Center for Social Impact, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

This initiative is meaningful work that will ultimately touch many lives and help young Black boys and young men of color succeed in life. In their letter, the prominent women referenced these sobering statistics: “The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, reports that nearly 1 in 4 boys of color, (except for Latino and Asian-American students with disabilities), have at some point been suspended from school. African-American and Latino boys and young men, are also more likely than their white peers to have witnessed violence, in or out of the home and have parents who are/have been incarcerated.

African-American and Latino males also have much higher odds of being plagued by chronic health conditions and by contracting diseases which require repeated and consistent care for treatment, including: childhood asthma requiring hospitalization, childhood obesity, and HIV/AIDS.”

Despite the controversy from those who have questioned Obama’s focus on young Black and Latino males, this group of prominent women wanted to make it a point to offer their support of this effort.

“These dismal figures have only served to increase our enthusiasm and support for your administration’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, launched earlier this year to assist every boy and young man of color, to beat the odds to live high quality lives for themselves, their families and communities,” their letter concluded.

I applaud these women for supporting the President. What do you think?

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