Last month, President Obama launched “My Brother’s Keeper,” a promising, new initiative to help “every boy and young man of color who is willing to do the hard work to get ahead.”
As part of his announcement for the initiative, the president highlighted early learning, touching on research on the early vocabulary gap, kindergarten readiness, and third grade reading proficiency.
For Obama, the initiative is personal. At the event launching the initiative, the president talked about growing up without a father and about his own poor choices, including drug use and taking school less seriously than he could have.
“The only difference is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving,” the president said. He had the support of his mother and grandparents as well as encouragement from a community that gave him second and third chances. “They never gave up on me. And so I didn’t give up on myself.”
Joining the president is a group of foundations that have united to support the new initiative. 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 Kapor Center for Social Impact, the Open Society Foundations, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation — have made a $150 million commitment to “My Brother’s Keeper,” and they will be working over the next three months to design a strategy and infrastructure for these investments. (more…)