In February 2014, President Barack Obama launched the MBK initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. The initiative seeks to organize and capitalize on the commitment of the community leaders in order to reach that goal.
Starting this fall, the administration will take the next crucial step
in this effort by issuing a challenge to cities, towns, counties and
tribes across the country to become "MBK Communities." This challenge
represents a call to action for all members of our communities, and
mayors in particular, as they often sit at the intersection of many of
the vital forces and structural components needed to enact sustainable
change through policy, programs, and partnerships. In addition to issuing this challenge to mayors and local officials, the
Obama Administration has conducted outreach to business leaders,
non-profits, philanthropies, and local school systems, who are
organizing themselves independently to support communities' efforts.
The MBK Communities Challenge encourages communities (cities, rural
municipalities, and tribal communities) to implement a coherent
"cradle-to-college and career strategy" for improving the life outcomes
of all young people, including boys and young men of color. It is
important to underscore that this is not a new federal program, but
rather a call-to-action, and a targeted effort to convene leaders,
identify effective strategies, and work together to accomplish our
shared goal of improving life outcomes for young people.