Improving the odds for young black men
Can the excitement about My Brother's Keeper last now that Obama's out of office?
Seven months after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the killing of Trayvon Martin, President Barack Obama stood in the White House's East Room with a group of young men from the South Side of Chicago. He told a crowd why the country should care about what happens to young black men.
"Fifty years after Dr. King talked about his dream for America's children," Obama said, "the stubborn fact is that the life chances of the average black or brown child in this country lags behind by almost every measure, and is worse for boys and young men."
Compared to their white peers, black children are more likely to be born poor and more likely to grow up in single-parent homes. They're less likely to graduate from high school and be socially mobile. They're more likely to end up in the criminal justice system and be victims of a violent crime.
Obama expressed his frustration with these grim odds.
"And the worst part is," he said, "we've become numb to these statistics. We're not surprised by this. We take them as the norm. We just assume this is an inevitable part of American life, instead of the outrage that it is."
That day in the East Room, Obama unveiled his bold plan to improve the odds for boys and young men: My Brother's Keeper.
On the podcast this week, Suzanne Pekow explains what My Brother's Keeper is and asks what will happen now that Obama is no longer in the bully pulpit.