MSNBC: My Brother’s Keeper: Giving Young Men of Color a Chance

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 1/23/2015, 12:22 p.m.
This week Americans honor the memory of one of our greatest champions of equality and justice. Invariably, celebrations of Dr. ...
Joe Echevarria

I worked hard, but wouldn’t have been as successful if it weren’t for mentors who helped me understand what to do, and just as importantly, what not to do to succeed; big things but also little ones, like why my king-sized (but trendy) mustache didn’t enhance my credibility.

Today I am involved in My Brother’s Keeper to encourage the business community to contribute something that I know works, because there’s a near-perfect match between the skills most prized in the business community and those we so often hear boys and young men of color need to develop in order to succeed. Skills like goal setting; teamwork; formulating a plan and executing against it; adapting when circumstances change; and measuring success.

And if those of us who have had some success navigating life and its many challenges can share the secrets of that success – in a way that relates to what a young boy or young man of color is going through, it would make a dramatic difference for the good. That won’t just help people individually – it will help us all, in terms of closer communities, healthier families, and a stronger economy.

But realizing those shared benefits requires more of us to take the first step, by showing more of our young men and boys of color that someone in their own community – someone who’s made it through – actually cares about them, values them and is willing to invest in them. That’s the essence of Dr. King’s dream, and of the American dream. We can honor them both by supporting My Brother’s Keeper, in order to help more young men and boys of color to not only imagine their dreams, but to achieve them.

Joe Echevarria is the former Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte and Co-Chair of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

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