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Mayor Walsh joins White House Officials, Mayor Nutter to discuss My Brother's Keeper

December 18, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

 Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Michael D. Smith, Senior Assistant to President Barack Obama, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia municipal officials and local stakeholders to discuss the impact of President Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' (MBK) initiative for communities across the country at the MBK Philly Summit. As part the two-day summit, Mayor Walsh announced Boston youth will form an advisory council with the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and chaired by the BPS Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang.

"Boston was proud to answer President Obama's call to action, and I am proud of the great momentum we are experiencing across policies and programming supporting Black and Latino males and all youth in the city," said Mayor Walsh. "Mayor Nutter has been a strong advocate and thought-leader for My Brother's Keeper and I am honored to join him as we discuss how we will continue to advocate for increased access and opportunity for all of our residents."

The BPS youth advisory council will formally launch in 2016. The announcement of the youth advisory council follows a Boston-based convening this week hosted by the BPS for the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC)'s Regional Gathering at the Bruce Bolling Building. COSEBOC's gathering included a session last Saturday with BPS young men of color followed by a presentation of recommendations and workshops on Monday. Approximately 87 young men presented recommendations to increase diversity and improve inclusionary measures at BPS. Recommendations included having a more diverse and culturally responsive staff, a greater environment of mutual respect between students and teachers, and more coursework that is connected to cultural relevance and cultural identities.

On Wednesday, Superintendent Chang and Chief of Education Rahn Dorsey traveled to the White House to discuss the issue of chronic absenteeism as part of MBK.

Boston was one of 10 cities that participated in this event. The initiative is a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to providing high-need students with additional supports to help with high school and post-secondary success.

Earlier this month, Boston ranked 6th out of 50 cities across the country based on its high level of engagement and committed action in helping Black men and boys achieve and reach their full potential. The ranking was produced by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, and published in their report: The Promise of Place: Cities Advancing Black Male Achievement. MBK Boston focuses on improving life outcomes for all youth, especially Black and Latino boys and young men.

Today's session of the MBK Philly Summit kicked off with the theme: Success and Impact of MBK, including remarks by Mayor Walsh. The MBK Philly two-day summit celebrated the importance of MBK in communities across the country like Boston and Philadelphia, congratulated Mayor Nutter's leadership, and introduced Mayor-Elect Kenney as a partner in supporting MBK locally and nationally. The two-day summit also included a workshop called "Advancing Racial Equity: The Role of Government" led by the Governing Alliance for Race and Equity (GARE) and the Center of Social Inclusion (CSI).

In September 2014, Mayor Walsh established the MBK Boston Advisory Committee. After months of community engagement, the Advisory Committee released a set of recommendations in May 2015. The Advisory Committee recently held its quarterly meeting on December 3rd at City Year Boston. Sub-committees of the Advisory Committee convene regularly to further shape and implement policy and program recommendations outlined in the MBK Boston Recommendations for Action across three milestones: 1) Graduating from high school ready for college and career; 2) Successfully entering the workforce; and 3) Reducing youth violence and providing a second chance. In addition to recommendations outlined in the report, MBK Boston focuses on promoting mentoring through the Mayor's Mentoring Movement, research and policy development and implementation in partnership with RootCause, and positive imagery among other initiatives.