Most Black Organizations Excluded From President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative
When President Obama announced his My Brother’s Keeper initiative to enormous fanfare a few months back, most observers welcomed it with a phrase that has come to represent the black community’s diminished expectations with this administration– at least he’s doing something. Yes, the Obama administration is doing something; giving most of the charitable dollars intended to help black boys to white organizations.
The White House grant requirements for My Brother’s Keeper effectively ban most black charities and organizations from participating. A rule for eligibility requires “national organizations defined as having active chapters or sub awardees in at least 45 states.” This rule excludes most black organizations, many of which see no reason to have chapters in many mostly white states. The only organization that might meet the 45 state requirement is the NAACP, but the rule effectively excludes most black organizations.
In response, 100 Black Men of America sent a letter to the White House expressing disappointment in the rule.
“Since 1963, the 100 Black Men of America Inc., has embraced challenges impacting black boys …. as you could imagine, as a national organization with a presence in 30-plus states, we were indeed pleased to see that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention had finally extended an opportunity for historically excluded opportunities to fully participate in the national funding opportunities available …. Unfortunately our jubilation was short lived, as your office’s revised RFP of April 10, 2014, quickly quelled any hopes we had of enriching and expanding the services we currently provide for the children that we serve,” 100 Black Men President Michael Brown wrote in the letter, reports Crew of 42.