Youth leaders and adult allies from Fresno Boys and Men of Color were invited by President Obama to join hundreds of others from around the country for the first My Brother's Keeper Rising! convening, held in Oakland last week. Throughout the three days, these local leaders connected with others from across the country and learned about what is happening to increase opportunities for young men of color, and how their fellow brothers are taking action in their communities.
At the conference, Kieshaun White, 18, joined President Barack Obama, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, and other young leaders on-stage for a town hall forum. The hour-long town hall was a time for young people to ask questions and hear words of wisdom from Curry and Obama themselves. During the forum, White took the mic to ask President Obama’s advice on how young people can advocate for resources to go to people and programs working to prevent crime, build relationships and create stronger communities instead of going directly to local police departments.
The young men and adult allies from Fresno also heard from a range of speakers - including leaders in youth mentorship and violence prevention, families of victims of gun violence, and other change makers - participated in a variety of leadership skill-building workshops, and took part in a community service project.
Last November, Fresno Boys and Men of Color was named as one of nine “Seed Communities” of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Community Challenge Competition for their work in the community.
An initiative of the Obama Foundation, the My Brother's Keeper Alliance started as a call to action to adopt innovative approaches, strengthen support, and build ladders of opportunity for boys and young men of color. Now, nearly 250 cities, counties, and Tribal Nations have accepted the challenge implementing new initiatives to reduce barriers and expand opportunity for these young men.