going above and beyond
- Jun 18, 2004
- retired computer geek
The funding is part of a larger initiative from the White House to bring private businesses, nonprofits and local governments together to intervene in key moments in the lives of young black and Hispanic men to ensure they stay in school and eventually train for and get good jobs.
As Yahoo News first reported, the cause will be a major focus of Obama’s — and the first lady’s — even after he leaves office. "It’s something that's deeply personal to the president and first lady,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president and the Obamas’ closest friend from Chicago. “I’m sure their commitment to this initiative will be a lifelong commitment. This is not something they simply want to do while he’s in office — it will continue.”
The president personally ordered his senior staff to come up with this new “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in the wake of the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin two years ago.
Obama — who was criticized by civil rights leaders for avoiding race-based initiatives and conversations while in office — was deeply moved by Martin’s death, and he tasked his staff with creating a holistic, research-based approach to helping young minority boys succeed and avoid violence.
The president will create a new interagency My Brother’s Keeper Task Force headed by Broderick Johnson, the Cabinet secretary and assistant to the president. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Attorney General Eric Holder, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and other senior officials will be personally involved in “My Brother’s Keeper,” according to Jarrett.