President Barack Obama grew up in a single parent home — raised by his mother.
And with that, there are challenges some African Americans face when it comes to being impoverished or behind bars.
And Obama recognizes that — with “My Brother’s Keeper,” an initiative for the betterment of young men of color.
It’s a fight he plans to continue after his presidency.
Obama with young men of color at the White House, asked for the help of business, government and other leaders to help guide young men on the right paths.
The initiative is “My Brother’s Keepers” — a $200 million initiative plan for over the course of next five years.
Ford Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are organizations that will be working to keep young men in school and away from the criminal justice system.
Obama is signing a presidential memorandum for a government-wide task force to evaluate the impact of approaches to the initiative and sharing among community groups and organizations around the United States.
Approaches that will continue to help young men who are in the former position of Maurice Owens, who grew up in a crime-heavy Bronx neighborhood where his friends ended up dead or in prison.
He secured a scholarship to a good high school, went to college, joined the Air Force and is now two doors down from the Oval Office as an aide to the chief of staff. And it was with the help of his mother.
That’s the message Obama wants to get across to youths of color. Owens made it, and so can they.
“That’s a moral, social responsibility that they feel will transcend the time that he’s president,” Jarrett said.
Obama’s initiative focuses on issues that he didn’t pay more attention to during his first term and with much criticism from the African-American community — who thought he would spend more time focusing on disadvantages of the community. But he’s made careful steps to not be pigeonholed in being “the black president” while working to bring forth this initiative.
“There have been times where some thoughtful and sometimes not so thoughtful African-American commentators have gotten on both Michelle and me, suggesting that we are not addressing enough sort of institutional barriers and racism, and we’re engaging in sort of up-by-the-bootstraps, Booker T. Washington messages that let the larger society off the hook,” Obama recently told The New Yorker.
Read more at CBS News.