NEW YORK—Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced the launch of a public-private initiative called My Brother’s Keeper aimed at creating opportunities for boys and young men of color. Today, Demos President Miles Rapoport released the following statement praising the project:
“All of us at Demos applaud President Obama and the partners in the philanthropic community who helped create the program launched yesterday at the White House.
“The President pointed clearly and convincingly to the fact that the United States—our economy, our leaders, and our policies—is failing yet another generation of African American and Hispanic boys and men. The commitment by ten foundations to put up $200 million for the study and development of locally based programs that can really make a difference is a most welcome development.
We need policies aimed at giving everyone an equal chance to succeed, and a political system that is able to invest the resources needed to do so.
“The President also rightly pointed out that our economy and policies are failing other groups of people as well, including the millions of people of all colors and genders who are in low-wage jobs and unable to make ends meet; the young people who could succeed in college but lack the resources to pay the tuition or exorbitant debt repayments; and the children in their youngest years who would benefit immensely from early childhood education but are denied it.
“For Demos, this is the key question before us. We need policies aimed at giving everyone an equal chance to succeed, and a political system that is able to invest the resources needed to do so—$200 million, hundreds of times over. The fact that the President asked foundations to put up the money that any decent legislature, including Congress, should have as its core commitment, tells us how much work we still have to do.
“This is our central task, and we are committed to it. But for today we applaud President Obama and all of the partners for taking an important step which will keep a light shining on these critically important issues.”