Help Youth Organizing Lead My Brother’s Keeper

Written by Carmen Iniguez

May 2, 2014

Do you believe in youth organizing? Do you want to see youth organizing take leadership in shaping My Brother’s Keeper – the national initiative President Obama launched to “measurably improve the expected educational and life outcomes for, and address the persistent opportunity gaps faced by, boys and young men of color”?

Then please – right away – spread the word about a national survey of boys and young men of color (ages 13-25) being conducted by the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) and Movement Strategy Center, the co-facilitators of the “youth table” that is gathering recommendations of youth themselves for My Brother’s Keeper.

The deadline for participating in the survey is Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

FCYO and MSC are asking youth organizing groups to get young boys/men of color (ages 13-25) to take a survey and to complete the organizational survey.

In February President Obama announced the creation of My Brother’s Keeper, asserting that, “Groups that have had the odds stacked against them in unique ways…require unique solutions.” The centerpiece of My Brother’s Keeper is a policy task force that will put together national, state, and local recommendations. In tandem with My Brother’s Keeper, a group of foundations announced a five-year $200 million investment in programs for Black and Latino boys and young men.

Youth organizing is crucial for boys and young men of color — and must be a core strategy in any effort to address the racial inequity that has been built into every institution, system, and structure. According to a recent FCYO study, 80% of students involved in youth organizing “felt confident that they could research a problem in their community, create a plan to address the problem, and get other people to care about the problem,” 90% “expressed a desire to stay involved in activism and remain committed to long-term social change efforts,” 80% “noted their grades improved,” and 60% “reported that they took more challenging coursework due to their involvement in organizing.”

“The diverse and collective efforts to transform the conditions, lives, and leadership of boys and men of color in California hold great transformative promise,” writes Jeremy Lahoud in What Works: Transforming Conditions & Health Outcomes for Boys and Men of Color. “Through on the ground efforts in places across California, young activists, adult allies, systems leaders, and nonprofit organizations are creating ‘best practices’ that exemplify pathways to pivot toward more effective movement building.”

Please help ensure that youth organizing – among Black, Latino, Asian, queer, immigrant, and other boys and young men of color – plays a leadership role in My Brother’s Keeper.

For more information please contact carmen[at]

Feature photo: City Heights BMoC Camp. Photo: Mid-City Community Advocacy Network

You May Also Like…

Our Cafe Is A Movement Home

Our Cafe Is A Movement Home

I am the owner of Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, a labor of love that was born in my home 28 years ago as I struggled to...

Decolonizing Childhood in COVID

Decolonizing Childhood in COVID

Nuola Akinde didn’t set out to homeschool, but her experiences as a Black mother in led her to restructure her life...

Talking About Life & Death

Talking About Life & Death

As I write this, my neighbor and three dear friends are dealing with parents in Florida suffering with COVID-19. I...

Share This