President Obama today launches “My Brother’s Keeper,” a public-private program to provide economic and educational opportunities to disadvantaged black and Latino youth, reports the Wall Street Journal. The initiative focuses on young men and boys of color, because statistics show a disproportionate number of them are unemployed, undereducated and in trouble with the law. “These young men are more than six times as likely to be victims of murder than their white peers and account for almost half of the country’s murder victims each year,” the White House says.
The president is creating a cabinet-level position held by Broderick Johnson, who will head a task force focused solely on this program, which includes a $200 million commitment from foundations and the buy-in of several business leaders and public officials. The goal is to maintain the initiative across federal agencies, including assessing federal policies and regulations. Johnson is a lawyer and former Clinton administration official who advised the Obama re-election campaign. The initiative will focus on issues ranging from nutrition and health to education and youth violence.