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White House Officials and Community Leaders Introduce "My Brother's Keeper" to Cleveland

Photo of Zack Reed

  White House officials joined Cleveland community leaders and US Senator Sherrod Brown today to launch the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in Cleveland.

President Obama launched the program in 2014 after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

My Brother’s Keeper Task Force director and White House aide Broderick Johnson was in Cleveland for the launch.

It is designed to reduce neighborhood violence by providing education and parental engagement for black and Hispanic youth.

Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed, who was at the launch event, says the program will add federal support to the city’s efforts to help minority youth.

“Today, a person from the White House, a person who sits down with the President of the United States, found out of his busy time to come to the city of Cleveland, to say ‘enough is enough.’” That means they are willing to be partners, and if nothing else, we know that if you partner with the federal government, people start to listen to you.”  

One of the initiative's big focuses is providing mentorship to black and Hispanic youth.

Cleveland Urban League president Marsha Mockabee says these mentorship programs will be the most effective way to prevent urban crime.

Mockabee on the importance of mentorship.

photo of Marsha Mockabee
Marsha Mockabee, president of the Cleveland Urban League
  “Where you have strong male influences in the lives of young men who don’t otherwise have that, you always do have the opportunity for swaying young men to more positive decisions than they would often make left to their own devices.”

Mockabee says that the Urban League and organizations like the Cleveland NAACP helped bring the White House initiative to the city.

She says these planning organizations will serve as a service network for young black men.