Since President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) program in 2014, our office has been working with leaders around the state to encourage cities to invest in all students, particularly young men of color, who we know are so often locked out of opportunities.
MBK has grown all over the state since then, and last week we launched two exciting new partnerships with the Cincinnati Reds and with the Cincinnati Museum Center.
They are both launching virtual career conversations this year, so MBK kids can learn about opportunities in sports management, and in STEM fields, and they hope to expand efforts in-person when it’s safe to do so.
These kinds of partnerships are really what MBK is all about – showing more Black and brown kids that there is a whole network of people who want to help them achieve their dreams, and that their dreams matter.
We know that Ohio is losing future doctors, engineers, teachers, and entrepreneurs because of a persistent opportunity gap that exists between young men of color and their peers.
It’s unacceptable, and we’re working to change it.
MBK is among the most important work I’m involved in as your senator. It’s been exciting to help communities come together to launch chapters in Cincinnati, Toledo, Mansfield, Lincoln Heights, Springfield, Lorain County, Stark County, and the Mahoning Valley.
And now we are seeing these efforts really take off, from the MBK Ohio launch with the Kirwan Institute two years ago, to partnering with NASA on summer manufacturing camps, to these new opportunities with the Reds and the Museum Center.
When we say Black Lives Matter, this effort is a part of that – Black childhoods matter, Black careers matter, Black dreams matter. And we want to continue working with communities that have been silenced for too long to make more of those dreams a reality.
I look forward to continuing to expand these partnerships, so that all Ohio students have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) represents the state in the U.S. Senate.