Obama to launch non-profit inner-city youth initiative
Willie Grace | 5/1/2015, noon
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As unrest in Baltimore again focuses attention on race relations in America, President Barack Obama plans to re-launch his My Brother's Keeper Initiative -- meant to address the opportunity deficit for minority youth -- as a non-profit organization.
He'll travel to the Bronx on Monday to unveil the "My Brother's Keeper Alliance" at Lehman College, part of the City University of New York System. A job listing found online describes the organization as "in a startup phase" and "preparing for hyper-growth."
Obama first announced the My Brother's Keeper program in 2014 as an attempt to reverse trends showing young men of color are more likely to drop out of school, get in trouble with the lawor be unemployed.
He's held events at the White House and in Washington over the past year highlighting the program's efforts, including new mentoring programs and partnerships with professional athletes, and he's expected to continue his focus on those issues after he leaves the White House in 2017.
Speaking about the plight of young black men and boys, Obama has often evoked his own childhood with an absent father. But he's noted that the opportunities presented to him, like quality schooling, should be available for all American children.
He noted during a press conference on Tuesday that crime rates in neighborhoods of Baltimore and elsewhere are directly linked to a lack of opportunity.
"In communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men; communities where there's no investment, and manufacturing has been stripped away; and drugs have flooded the community, and the drug industry ends up being the primary employer for a whole lot of folks -- in those environments, if we think that we're just going to send the police to do the dirty work ... then we're not going to solve this problem," he said.
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