On Thursday, February 27 President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum creating the “My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.” The action will create an interagency effort, chaired by Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, that will determine what public and private efforts are working and how to expand them. The President spoke to the need to have an honest evaluation of what works “looking on the evidence of what works” and honestly evaluating, “well intentioned programs and how it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democratic program or Republican program.” Perhaps more impressive were the President’s heartfelt comments on his experiences as a boy growing up without a father.
The task force will examine federal government programs, their effectiveness, how to better involve state and local officials, the private sector, and the philanthropic community in these efforts. More specifically:

  • Assess the impact of Federal policies, regulations, and programs of general applicability on boys and young men of color, so as to develop proposals that will enhance positive outcomes and eliminate or reduce negative ones.
  • Recommend, where appropriate, incentives for the broad adoption by national, state, and local public and private decision makers of effective and innovative strategies and practices for providing opportunities to and improving outcomes for boys and young men of color.
  • Create an Administration-wide “What Works” online portal to disseminate successful programs and practices that improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.
  • Develop a comprehensive public website, to be maintained by the Department of Education, that will assess, on an ongoing basis, critical indicators of life outcomes for boys and young men of color in absolute and relative terms.
  • Work with external stakeholders to highlight the opportunities, challenges, and efforts affecting boys and young men of color.
  • Recommend to the President means of ensuring sustained efforts within the Federal Government and continued partnership with the private sector and philanthropic community as set forth in the Presidential Memorandum.

For more information and to watch the President’s speech, click here.