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Mayor Walsh releases My Brother's Keeper's Boston Report, launching recommendations for actions

May 9, 2015

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Mayor's Office

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today released “Opportunity • Access • Equity: MBK Boston Recommendations for Action,” a collaborative action plan to improve positive outcomes for Black and Latino males in Boston.  The recommendations report reflects three milestones adopted by Mayor Walsh and the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Boston Advisory Committee as part of President Barack Obama’s MBK Community Challenge: 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.  

“The challenges and barriers hindering success for Black and Latino males impact the lives of all Bostonians,” said Mayor Walsh.  “As a community, we need to boost outcomes for boys and girls, as well as hard-working adults and families to ensure equal access and opportunities.  This report and action plan will help foster a renewed culture in delivering services and support for our youth that will lead to pathways for success now and in the future.”

For the release of the report and launch of the action plan, Mayor Walsh was joined by Chief Felix G. Arroyo of Health and Human Services and Chief John Barros of Economic Development, Co-Chairs of the MBK Boston Advisory Committee, as well as members of MBK Boston Advisory Committee.  Stephen Lafume and Malachi Hernandez  of  Boston Latin Academy and Mabel Gonzalez of St. Joseph Preparatory High School presented the recommendations for action. Among the recommendations, some include:

•Expand school-community partnerships

•Increase access to rigorous curriculum and instructions in the City’s education model

•Increase diversity and cultural proficiency of administration and staff members

•Develop pilot-based mentoring initiatives between supervisors managing youth employees

•Scale up trauma-informed practices and training to reach all supervisors managing youth employees, to integrate youth violence prevention strategies 

•Examine the City of Boston's hiring policies to build a focused strategy for investing in and employing Black and Latino residents for construction and permanent jobs

• Launch a new Disparity Study to assess the City of Boston’s record and formal practice of engaging Minority-Owned & Women-Owned Business Enterprises in its contracts and procurement

•Educate and train industry leaders and elected officials to serve as allies in building a pipeline of talented Black and Latino youth

•Design a data-driven process for ranking businesses based on their employment of Black and Latino young adults including tracking based on employment, health, and educational attainment outcomes with the goal of providing a benchmark in determining industries and firms to engage for city-wide youth employment opportunities

•Enhance parental engagement as supports for adolescent children through a preventive program aimed at children ages 10 to 14 years old and their parents in high risk neighborhoods, building on the evidence-based model of the Strengthening Families Program

•Through the Mayor’s Public Safety Initiative, create a quality assurance system to streamline coordination and communication to improve the delivery of trauma response within the community and accountability for safer streets and neighborhoods.  In tandem, this quality assurance system should include standard programming to provide outreach and communication within the community regarding available resources and services.

For a full list of action recommendations, please visit: www.cityofboston.gov/mbk

With the release of the MBK Recommendations for Action, the MBK Boston Advisory Committee is moving forward on action plans for each recommendation, outlining proposed strategies, stakeholders, data indicators, resources, and resource needs.  Action plans will evolve as recommendations move towards implementation.  Beginning in September, the MBK Boston Advisory Committee will provide quarterly updates on the action plan progress.  

"All youth deserve to have an active voice, and I look forward to continued participation as we move forward with the MBK Boston Action Plan," said Stephen Lafume, a sophomore at Boston Latin Academy. "My Brother's Keeper in Boston is about bringing people together to develop a brighter future."

Mayor Walsh also announced a partnership between the City of Boston, the Black and Latino Collaborative, and Dr. James Jennings’ research team to develop a uniformed data dashboard that reflects MBK milestones adopted in Boston to track and work toward improving life outcomes for Black and Latino males in Boston.  This data dashboard is an addition to the local data indicators the MBK Boston Advisory Committee will use for measuring progress and impact over time for implemented recommendations.  

"It is evident that our City cannot become the Boston we strive for it to be without the gifts, vision, and talents of Black and Latino boys and young men," said Samuel Acevedo, MBK Boston Advisory Committee Member and Executive Director of the Boston Higher Education Resource Center.  "I am thankful for Mayor Walsh's leadership on My Brother's Keeper, but it is on all of us as a community to work collectively to improve the lives and outcomes of our youth, the future of Boston."  Acevedo is also a member of the Black and Latino Collaborative and serves as a pastor at Congregación León de Judá.  

In December 2014, Mayor Walsh hosted the MBK Boston Action summit attended by more than 400 Bostonians who shared ideas in several breakout sessions on topics including Education, Civic Engagement, Health and Human Services, Public Safety, Workforce and Business Development, and Youth Employment.  The MBK Boston Advisory Committee helped to shape policy and program recommendations across these sub-committee areas in support of the three MBK milestones. 

The MBK Boston Advisory Committee is comprised of 45 members representing government, the private sector, community-based organizations, academia, clergy, elected officials, and Boston Public School graduates as well as Sub-Committees that extend to more local leaders, youth, and experts.  In June, MBK Boston Sub-Committees will host meetings to move forward on Boston’s MBK Action Plan.  

Visit www.cityofboston.gov/mbk to review “Opportunity • Access • Equity: MBK Boston Recommendations for Action,” the MBK Boston Action Plan, or to learn more about the MBK Boston Advisory Committee. Event photos will later be posted online, here.