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Milwaukee Living Up To The My Brother's Keeper Challenge

michaeljung, Fotolia

Fifteen months ago, President Obama launched an initiative aimed at improving the outlook for boys and young men of color in the United States. The My Brother’s Keeper initiative was set up to bring both the public, private and faith-based sectors together to address issues ranging from early childhood education and high school graduation rates to issues surrounding incarceration and employment.

Since then, the initiative has expanded to include the MBK Community Challenge program to explore community-specific approaches to these issues. Milwaukee is among those communities, and this weekend will hold the first in a series of MBK Neighborhood Summits.

"All over the country we're seeing some great interventions in terms of providing people with second chances," says Michael Smith. He is the White House’s special assistant to the President and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

Smith be in town to speak at the 7th annual Urban Initiatives Conference hosted by UW-Milwaukee’s Center for Urban Initiatives and Research

In Milwaukee, the program is taking a two-generation approach. "We understand that in order to effectively serve and support our young people, we have to effectively and efficiently serve their parents and their guardians and those who take care of them," Jeffrey Roman says. He coordinates the initiative in Milwaukee.