Yonkers My Brother’s Keeper Takes Stage at Obama Foundation’s MBK Rising Summit

  • Yonkers My Brother’s Keeper Takes the Stage
    at the Obama Foundation’s MBK Rising Summit

    Inaugural National My Brother’s Keeper Gathering to Celebrate Movement’s First Five Years

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    (YONKERS, NY) – Yonkers My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) groundbreaking leaders will present their insights and experiences guiding a model MBK community on February 19 and 20 at the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper’s Alliance first national convening in Oakland, California.

    Hundreds of young people and leaders from the growing national MBK network, “will join President Obama in celebrating the achievements of organizations and communities leading the way in reducing youth violence, growing impactful mentorship programs, and improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color,” according to the Obama Foundation.

    “We are honored to be recognized at MBK Rising,” said Mayor Mike Spano. “The Obama Foundation is validating Yonkers’ commitment and fortitude in safeguarding the future of our young men of color by inviting us to share what is working in our city. Since we accepted President Barack Obama’s Community Challenge in 2016, Yonkers MBK has made incredible progress building ladders of opportunity for our young people.”

    Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, Co-Chair of Yonkers MBK, will represent New York as the only educator from the state to participate in a panel discussion about K-12 education systems. Panelists will highlight how they have integrated MBK Initiatives into their K- 12 systems as key parts of their student success and equity reforms. The panel also includes Ron Walker, Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), Chris Chatmon, Oakland Unified School District, Dr. Robert Simmons, Maya Angelou Public Schools, and moderator Alise Marshall, Public Welfare Foundation Director of Strategy and New Ventures.

    “It is a privilege to be invited to join this distinguished panel to highlight the work of all our partners,” said Dr. Quezada. “Through true collaboration and a commitment to focus our dynamic programs on the six milestones – including ensuring all students graduate from high school -- our magnificent young men will be prepared to make the most of opportunities that are opening for them.”

    Yonkers MBK supports tangible results. Yonkers is the only large city school district in New York to exceed an 80 percent graduation rate in 2018, surpassing its “Big Five” peers and the state average. New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has consistently credited Yonkers MBK with helping to close achievement gaps among students of color in the district.

    Yonkers MBK Co-Chair Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic, Executive Director of the Nepperhan Community Center, will speak on stage with MBK Alliance Executive Director Michael D. Smith in a session called A Field Leader’s Monologue. In November, Nepperhan Community Center, in partnership with the City of Yonkers, Yonkers Public Schools, the Yonkers YMCA, the Westchester County Department of Correction (WDOC) and Yonkers MBK, was selected as one of only 10 nationwide winners of the Obama Foundation’s National Impact Community grants.

    “I am deeply honored and humbled, first of all, to be one of 10 National MBK National Impact Community Competition awardees,” said Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic “But, even further, to be asked to be a speaker on the main stage of the national MBK conference in Oakland – I hope and pray my experience may help to inspire, motivate and encourage our next generation of leaders to dare to be ‘change agents.’”

    The convening will include a town hall with President Obama, NBA star Stephen Curry and singer John Legend. Dr. Lester Young, Member, New York State Education Department Board of Regents will also be a speaker at the event.