The My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge is a call to action for cities, Tribal Nations, towns, and counties to build and execute robust plans to ensure that all young people—no matter who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born—can achieve their full potential,” President Obama’s Challenge.

In 2014, The City of Rockford and the Rockford Housing Authority jointly stepped up to meet this challenge. Rather than replicating traditional approaches, the Rockford partnership convened and supported men of color from all areas of our community and pledged ongoing support. As is the case when people are empowered to find solutions, support is rarely needed and these men carried the challenge.

In 2 years, after multiple sittings of “real talk” and mentoring sessions, 815MBK has produced an informative piece that includes a call to action for parents, community members and leaders. The resulting Engagement Report focuses strategies in two key areas, education and crime & safety.

I encourage everyone to read the entire 815MBK Engagement Report, and visit the 815MBK website and then act! The findings are consistent with other MBK efforts and concluding statement says it all, “Our community is not without its challenges, but we believe that with proactive effort and true collaboration, we can have the impact needed to ensure every boy and man of color in Rockford, IL can realize his potential and achieve success.”

We all have a stake in and obligation to the success of our young men and boys of color and the 815MBK effort should be leveraged to ensure we are all engaged in meeting these responsibilities.

For more about the President’s initiative please visit – My Brother’s Keeper.

Additional spokesperson/contact for 815MBK:

Matthew Simpson:

Rodrigo D. Martinez:

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