President Obama Creates New Urban Initiative
President Obama announced a continued commitment to race relations even after he leaves office on Monday.
The vow came during a round-table discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx where the president asked a group of Black and Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds what could be done to help them reach their goals.
Several mentioned counseling and guidance programs. While many presidents have had to face times of racial tension during their tenure, Mr. Obama is the first to actually be able to relate to these moments through shared experiences.
His first term focused primarily on stabilizing America’s economy. But this second term keeps returning to the societal divide that was not bridged by his election.
Because of that reality, Mr. Obama has birthed another initiative that’s derived from his “My Brother’s Keeper” program. The new nonprofit, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will provide the nucleus for Obama’s post-presidency, which will start in 2017.
“This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life,” Mr. Obama said according to the New York Times. “And the reason is simple,” he added. Referring to some of the youths he had just met, he said: “We see ourselves in these young men. I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path. The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving.”
The new alliance already has financial backing from American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corp. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young Black and Hispanic men. It will also fund programs for disadvantaged youth, and help communities aid their populations.