Data shows that some Americans have fewer opportunities available to them and continue to face roadblocks to success. One of these groups is boys and young men of color — regardless of where they come from.
This is why President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. The collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach aims to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of all youth, including boys and young men of color.
On May 12, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will host a Youth Listening Session in partnership with the My Brother’s Keeper Taskforce to get input from various youth-serving organizations, youth stakeholders, youth leaders and other young adults.
- What: My Brother’s Keeper Taskforce Youth Listening Session hosted by Secretary Arne Duncan
- When: 3:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Monday, May 12
- Where: Policy Listening Session Webinar
Those unable to participate in the listening sessions should feel free to leave their feedback on the following questions in the comment section on this blog post.
On Track to College and Career
1) The quality of education is critical for all students, but we know that too many youth, including many boys and young men of color, attend schools that are underperforming. What would you suggest be the first issue addressed by the MBK Task Force related to improving school and educational quality?
a. Engaging curriculum tied to real-world problem solving
b. Professional development to improve teacher quality
c. Access and support for students to enroll in college-level course work
d. Increased collaboration between schools, families, and host communities
e. New school designs such as early college high schools or career academies connected to industry partners
Ladders to Jobs-Higher Education
2) What do you think needs to change in order to increase the rate at which all citizens, including young men of color, persist in and graduate from postsecondary education and training?
a. Increased levels of college and career readiness
b. Lower college costs
c. More financial aid
d. Clearer guidance on applying to and selecting a college
e. A culturally relevant educational environment
f. Clearer, shorter pathways to a high wage career
g. Other /Not listed
Mentoring and Support Networks
3) What do you think is most valued in a mentoring program by young people, including boys and young men of color?
Criminal Justice/Violent Crime Interaction
4) What do you think is the predominate factor contributing to disproportionate rates of juvenile/criminal justice system involvement by
boys and young men of color?
a. Exposure to violence
b. Violent crime in the community
c. Lack of exposure to and understanding of potential to obtain success
d. Lack of education and job skill
e. Lack of treatment services
f. Biased law enforcement; and,
g. Other/Not listed
Ladders to Opportunity – Jobs for Opportunity Youth
5) Anyone who wants a job should be able to get a job that allows them to support themselves and their families.What do you think is the most important reason that some young people, including young men of color, have challenges in the job market?
a. Insufficient education
b. Insufficient skills for jobs in demand
c. Inadequate connections or networks
d. Employer stereotypes
e. Other/Not listed
De’Rell Bonner is a special assistant and youth liaison in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education