President Obama will launch a significant new effort this week to bolster the lives of young men of color, seeking to use the power of the presidency to help a group of Americans whose lives are disproportionately affected by poverty and prison.
Obama on Thursday will announce a new White House initiative called “My Brother’s Keeper,” which will bring foundations and companies together to test a range of strategies across the country to support young male minorities, taking steps to keep them in school and out of the criminal justice system, a White House official said. He will also announce that his administration will launch a more vigorous evaluation of what policies work best and publicize results to school systems and others across the country.
The effort will seek “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,” the White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement. “The initiative will be focused on implementing strategies that are proven to get results.”
Obama promised to launch a new project focused on young men of color in one line — widely overlooked — during his State of the Union address last month. His focus on a relatively narrow demographic group is unusual for a president who usually stresses how his policies affect large swaths of the American public. It also comes after the first African American president has faced repeated criticism from those who say he is failing to pay enough attention to this group of Americans.
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