First launched in 2014, Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force that would discover what private and public programs are working to help black boys succeed.
Once those efforts were identified, the task force would work to expand them.
Now the program has a local duplicate, at least on the state level. New York lawmakers approved $20 million into the state’s budget for a program styled after Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper.
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is leading the creation of the program and believes that it’s needed to keep black boys in school and out of prison.
In speaking about the creation of the program in New York, Heastie said that if black boys drop out of school, they may end up stuck in the criminal justice system.
He’s not being hyperbolic as we’ve seen a number of studies that give life to his words. Black boys and black men are often unfairly targeted by law enforcement and 1 for every 15th black man is in prison.
Black boys are suspended more than their white counterparts and so on and so forth.
We do not have a national system of protection for black boys and we lose more everyday because of it.
My Brother’s Keeper is certainly a good start, and the fact that more states may adopt the program to address the litany of issues that black boys face is even better.
But of course, more is needed. Black boys are stuck in poverty and see their chances of a better life decrease because of it. With the rising cost of tuition and the number of students saddled with student loan debt, we also need a program in place to ensure that they are able to go after a higher education.
This, though, is most definitely a step in the right direction.
The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.