On Thursday, President Obama is set to launch My Brother’s Keeper, a public-private program set to empower disadvantaged black and Latino young men who, according to a White House fact sheet, are “more than six times as likely to be victims of murder than their white peers and account for almost half of the country’s murder victims each year.”
The program, which was mentioned in last month’s State of the Union address and would use some $200 million of private funding and resources from foundations, corporations and elected officials, is geared toward creating economic and educational opportunities.
The president is also creating a task force to focus on a range of topics affecting young men of color, including the disparities in reading proficiency and the “disproportionate number of black and Hispanic young men who are unemployed or involved in the criminal justice system,” the White House fact sheet states.
Broderick Johnson, an assistant to the president who holds the post of secretary of the Obama Cabinet, will lead the task force.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former basketball star and entrepreneur Magic Johnson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will join the group at the White House to unveil the initiative.
“Building on his Year of Action, this new initiative is another way the President will use his pen and his phone,” a White House statement reads. “Involving both the private and public sectors, to expand opportunity for Americans … taking action in partnership with foundations, businesses, and others to make sure that every young man of color who is willing to work hard and lift himself up has an opportunity to get ahead and reach his full potential.”