By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – President Obama is expected to announce today a major, national effort to help bolster the lives of young men of color. A Philadelphia non-profit will be part of the effort.

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BMe Community CEO, Trabian Shorters, will be in Washington today for the launch of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which will bring together non-profits and for-profit organizations to test strategies for helping young men of color overcome negative statistics. Men and boys of color are disproportionately more likely to drop out of school, be victims of homicide or to go to prison, but these stats do not tell the full story of this population.

“In order for this to be successful, we have to tell the whole truth about black men and boys,” says Shorters, “to only focus on the negative creates a false impression because it’s actually more common for a black male to be in college than to be in prison.”

Born out of a Knight Foundation initiative, BMe Community engages black men and boys by telling the positive stories of ordinary men who build and support their communities.

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“BMe’s role is to engage the public as brothers as assets,” he says, “and part of what My Brother’s Keeper is about is engaging people in making better quality of life not just for black boys and men, but for the community overall.”

President Obama’s effort coincides with this week’s announcement by the mayor’s commission on African-American males on how to support black men in Philadelphia.


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