Skillman Foundation and Other Detroit Organizations, Leaders Pledges $2 Million for Obama’s ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Initiative

Young mens choir performs at My Brother's Keeper event
Young mens choir performs at My Brother’s Keeper event

The Skillman Foundation has committed $2 million in grants to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, a plan to change outcomes for young men of color in Detroit.

Nearly 50 leaders from Detroit’s civic, corporate and philanthropic communities, including Mayor Mike Duggan and former Mayor Dave Bing, gathered Monday morning on Wayne State University’s campus to commit to the initiative, which the Obama administration began in February to address growing disparities facing young African American and Latino men such as poverty, low graduation rates and illiteracy.

This week, Skillman is making a $750,000 grant to the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a national program will coordinate initiative efforts in Detroit.

The grant, to be paid over two years with $375,000 each in 2015 and 2016, focuses on building local leadership to collaborate on a framework to advance the work, organizers said. Of those funds, $500,000 will be deployed locally to support My Brother’s Keeper initiatives and projects on the ground in Detroit.

Obama issued a set of recommendations and steps for implementing the initiative across the country then invited mayors to take on the challenge.

Duggan said his administration has hired a director of youth services, Shawn Blanchard, who already has several initiatives underway. Earlier this year, Duggan announced a plan to provide summer employment in 2015 for 5,000 youth ages 15-24 and he launched Goal Detroit, a citywide youth soccer league open to all elementary schools.

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Source: Detroit News | Jennifer Chambers

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