Public Invited to Attend “My Brother’s Keeper” Community Challenge Event

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The public is invited to attend a Local Action Summit to discuss ideas for achieving positive life outcomes for youth, as part of the “My Brother’s Keeper” (MBK) Community Challenge. The event will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2015, at 6:00 pm at Ernest McBride Park, 1550 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.

“Long Beach is proud to accept the White House Challenge to build a ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Community and be able to make a difference in the lives of all young people,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Ensuring that our youth have the support and tools they need to succeed is one of the most promising investments for the future of our City.”

The Summit will provide the community with an opportunity to address the needs and priorities of Long Beach youth. The event will also review approaches for ensuring that Long Beach youth are physically and mentally prepared to start school; read at grade level by the third grade; graduate from high school and have the opportunity to attend postsecondary education; successfully enter the workforce; and remain safe from violent crime.

The City Council adopted a resolution supporting President Obama’s MBK Community Challenge on January 20, 2015, based on an agenda item brought forth by Councilmembers Rex Richardson, Lena Gonzalez, Roberto Uranga and Al Austin. The initiative calls upon City leaders to organize a Local Action Summit within 45 days of accepting the Challenge. The City will form recommendations for action based on results from the Summit.

“Long Beach is an extremely diverse city, and the needs and disparities of all people, especially the large population of boys and men of color, must be addressed through a collaborative process,” said Councilmember Richardson. “Participating in the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Community Challenge will help Long Beach build upon many existing programs to create more opportunities for success for all our youth.”

The Safe Long Beach Violence Prevention Plan (Safe Long Beach) incorporates several existing programs for engaging youth, including the California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention Program (CalGRIP), the Long Beach College Promise, and the Long Beach Unified School District Male Academy. There are currently 61 community-based and faith-based organizations in the City that offer mentorship and support services for boys and young men of color. These organizations will work in coordination with the City to achieve the goals of the MBK Community Challenge.

In September 2014, the White House issued a nationwide Challenge to cities across the country to become MBK Communities. This call to action encourages communities to implement strategies for improving the life outcomes of all young people, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances to which they are born.

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