The My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge
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.
The City of Austin and Travis County have partnered to accept this challenge.
Please see the SXSWEdu Community Dialogue Report (PDF) to get a review on our March 2015 Greater Austin area My Brother’s Keeper Summit.
Want to help? Please sign up to be a task force member here.
About Challenges Facing Austin
A White House MBK report issued in May of 2014 identified six areas of focus that are critical to ensuring youth can succeed from pre‐K through college and their careers – regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born. In Austin, we are in the process of setting goals and priorities, but the overarching goals for meaningful impact identified and recommended by the 2015 SXSWedu MBK Summit were in the following areas:
- Early Education (Pre-K-5th Grade)
- Middle School Education Initiatives
- High School Education Initiatives
- Post-Secondary Education
- Violence reduction and community second-chance program
Please be on the lookout for upcoming task force committee meetings.
Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Holds Fall Executive Committee Meeting
On Tuesday, October 27, the Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (GAA MBK) held it’s first Executive Committee meeting on the UT Austin campus. Community leaders from the city, county, civic organizations, UT Austin, ACC, non-profits, and others joined for a lengthy discussion to determine the direction of the local priorities and establish taskforce committees for GAA MBK. Additionally, the Executive Committee heard from mayor Steve Adler (pictured to the right) and Susan Dawson, President and CEO of the E3 Alliance (pictured below) who provided an assessment of data on local boys and young men of color in the Austin area.
Facts noted by Dawson included the following:
- Girls are much more likely than boys to be kindergarten-ready (57% v. 48%).
- Hispanic and Black males are 10 times more likely to be retained in the ninth grade; those retained in the ninth grade are 10 times more likely to drop out of school.
- Median income for a high school graduate is $19,408; for a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree is $50,744.
- White students at eighth grade are four times more likely than Black or Hispanic students to be proficient at eighth-grade algebra.
Mayor Adler told the group, “We all know that the sun rises in the east. The future of Austin rises or falls in our east as well.”
“We have to figure out how we use the strength and resources that exist in this community right now to ensure that there is equal opportunity and access for everybody that lives in this city. We have to do that because our city’s future and spirit and soul of who we are depends upon our ability to do that and do that well,” he said.
At the meeting, Dr. Vincent also announced that the GAA MBK will be convening at the SXSWedu conference for the second year in a row this March. Be on the lookout for more information on the SXSWedu event in the months to come.
Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, Mark Madrid to Co-Chair MBK Austin Task Force
Austin Mayor Steve Adler has announced the formation of a task force for the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Austin initiative. The task force will be co-chaired by Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, and Mark Madrid, CEO for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. On hand for the announcement held Aug. 17 at Austin Community College were Dr. Richard Rhodes, Austin Community College president; Travis County judge Sara Eckhardt; Dr. Paul Cruz, AISD superintendent and about 50 others from nonprofit organizations, AISD, ACC, UT Austin; Huston-Tillotson University, the City of Austin and Travis County offices as well as community members.
MBK Austin was launched at SXSWedu last spring. Since then, numerous school districts, organizations and agencies have signed on to become part of the initiative which will focus on educational opportunities and ending the school-to-prison pipeline for young men of color in Austin and Travis County. All of those who spoke that morning talked about the great opportunity to help youth and young men of color succeed on all levels. “I believe that the stars are aligning for a conversation about opportunity that we haven’t seen in a long time and its long overdue,” said Eckerhardt. Read more.