"Here in Chicago, there are numerous nonprofits that serviced black men and boys who now no longer exist," Phillip Jackson said, noting that many simply ran out of money. "They're gone. Black men and boys are in just as bad and possibly worse condition as they were in before My Brother's Keeper ... It's wonderful to have program brochures and reports, but until I see an infrastructure in place that's reaching the people who need it most, then it's a failed program."
Measuring the Effectiveness of My Brother's Keeper
By Nick Chiles, The Hechinger Report
February 9, 2017
One by one, smartly dressed young African-American men emerged from dark curtains, each wearing a big smile and holding aloft a small sign displaying one of the most heartening sentences in the English language: "I got the job!"
The scene in many ways perfectly illustrated both the power and promise of former President Barack Obama's provocative White House initiative, My Brother's Keeper. Propelled by the president's forceful exhortation, My Brother's Keeper Alliance - the nonprofit agency created to carry out the president's agenda - had used its influence to draw hundreds of Detroit-area employers to the large convention hall, where they offered jobs to a group that unemployment statistics indicate is not coveted by corporate America: young Black and Latino males.
President Barack Obama delivering remarks about the My Brother's Keeper initiative.
Compared to other groups in the U.S., young Black males have higher unemployment, lower graduation rates, less access to health care and higher incarceration rates. According to the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, by eighth grade, just 12 percent of Black boys and 17 percent of Latino boys were reading at or above proficiency, compared to 38 percent of White boys.
Since Obama announced My Brother's Keeper (MBK) in February 2014, his engagement has led to an unprecedented surge in corporate, nonprofit and philanthropic support for this troubled population. In December, the White House described commitments of more than $1 billion from the private sector, calling the progress "remarkable."
Phillip Jackson, executive director of the Black Star Project, a Chicago nonprofit that has been working in the Black community for the past 20 years, is skeptical about MBK's prospects. He's seen elaborate White House reports on My Brother's Keeper and heard Obama's speeches, but not enough evidence that the program has changed the lives of Black boys.
"I don't buy the glitz; I don't buy changing the world by press release," said Jackson, former CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority and chief of staff for Chicago Public Schools. "The young men in Chicago who need My Brother's Keeper the most have never heard of it. So when you say My Brother's Keeper started these programs, that's great. But the young men shooting and killing each other at alarming levels here have never heard of it."
Chicago saw a 54 percent increase in homicides in 2016 over the previous year (from 496 to 762) and a 47 percent increase in shooting victims (from 2,939 to 4,331). That means that Chicago last year had more murders than the two largest American cities, New York and Los Angeles, combined.
Jackson said he was disturbed that, in Chicago, nonprofits that previously had shown no interest in the plight of black boys stepped into the arena to get their hands on My Brother's Keeper money - crowding out smaller groups that had been doing the work for years.
"Here in Chicago, there are numerous nonprofits that serviced black men and boys who now no longer exist," Jackson said, noting that many simply ran out of money. "They're gone. Black men and boys are in just as bad and possibly worse condition as they were in before My Brother's Keeper ... It's wonderful to have program brochures and reports, but until I see an infrastructure in place that's reaching the people who need it most, then it's a failed program."
Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Cincinati, Louisville, Ann Arbor, Indianapolis, Akron, Rockford, Lansing, Gary, Dayton, South Bend, Columbus, Flint and Toledo - Car, Bus, Train or Plane to Saviors' Day in Detroit, Michigan on February 19th.
By Starla Muhammad
February 7, 2017
Saviours' Day 2017, the Crowning Event of Black History Month is returning to where it all started, Detroit, Mich. The annual Nation of Islam convention will be held in the "Motor City" Feb. 17-19 to commemorate the 140th birth anniversary of the Great Mahdi Master W. Fard Muhammad, teacher of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Themed, "The Ultimate Challenge: Survival of the Black Nation," a full weekend of activities and events is scheduled and will take place at the Cobo Convention Center, located downtown on 1 Washington Blvd. The culmination of Saviours' Day will be the highly anticipated keynote message of instruction and divine guidance by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, titled, "Have No Fear For The Future: The Future is Ours!" at the Joe Louis Arena on 19 Steve Yzerman Dr., Sunday, Feb. 19.
It is the third straight year and the fourth time in a decade, Saviours' Day has been held in the city where the Nation of Islam in North America was founded in the early 1930s. It's where Master W. Fard Muhammad began going door to door in an area of the city known as "Black Bottom" teaching Islam and the knowledge of self to Black men and women who are described in scriptures as a despised and rejected people to whom a saviour and redeemer would come to resurrect.
Become An Elevator Installer/Technician through the Elevator Constructor Apprenticeship Program
Ray McCann will facilitate an information session on the Elevator Constructor Apprenticeship Program on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at The Black Star Project at 6:30pm-7:30pm.
Participants will receive information on the length of the program, wage information, preparatory classes, abilities, work experience, benefits, entry process and other requirements.
Thursday, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
February 16, 2017
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive
(Parking in the Rear)
RSVP at 773.285.9600
We are especially looking for young men and women (and their parents) from 16 to 24 years old. Candidates of all races, genders and ages are invited to this session. High school diploma is required. High school juniors and seniors are encouraged to attend this session.
This opportunity to become an elevator technician is generously supported by
The Black Star Project, 3509 South King Drive, Suite 2B, Chicago, IL 60653