A U.S. president, a superstar basketball player and a young top-charting rapper all have something in common. They are passionate about and committed to providing opportunities for young people. Every young person deserves a fair shot at success in life and former President Barack Obama, Stephen Curry and Chance the Rapper want to help spread the word.
On Monday, the trio has teamed up to participate in the public service announcement We Are the Ones, an urgent rallying cry to young Americans from all backgrounds to take action, join the conversation and join the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance). The call to action supports the mission of the MBK Alliance, the continued mission of Obama that every young person deserves equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity regardless of the color of their skin, their gender or the neighborhood where they’re born.
The three are passionately striving to help Americans assume the responsibility to make sure every young person has an equal opportunity.
Launched in May 2015, MBK Alliance, also known as the alliance, is an extension of Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which was established nearly four years ago. The alliance has worked with communities, corporations, and local officials across the country to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. Late this year the alliance joined forces with the Obama Foundation to continue its work as a critical initiative of Obama’s.
Brought to you by the Obama Foundation, ESPN and The Undefeated, the “We Are the Ones” announcement shows the foundation’s commitment to the program as well as allies who believe in the mission of the alliance.
“I firmly believe that every child deserves the chances I had,” Obama said when he signed the initiative during his time in office.
It is the 44th president’s desire to continue to address the opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color. The MBK initiative was launched as a national movement that has inspired 250 cities, counties and tribal nations to accept the program.
During his last MBK event as president Obama said, “This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle, not just for the rest of my presidency, but for the rest of my life.”
The agreement between the alliance and the Obama Foundation means that the program is better equipped to prolong his vision that all children can reach their full potential no matter who they are or where they come from. It also addresses the opportunity gap for young men and boys of color. According the GuideStar, the Obama Foundation, launched in 2014, operates with more than $13 million in assets.
Early support of the MBK initiative included Kevin Durant, Alonzo Mourning, John Legend, Roc Nation, PepsiCo, American Express, BET and other educators, business leaders and officials.
Within the Obama Foundation, MBK Alliance focuses on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity. MBK Alliance works to elevate the voices of our nation’s boys and young men of color and unite business, philanthropy, nonprofit, government, community leaders, and youth to impact lasting social change. This collaborative, cross-sector movement led by the MBK Alliance helps break down barriers that boys and young men of color disproportionately face and creates paths to promising futures.
There are many ways to get involved, including signing up to become a mentor and connecting with other local organizations in your city. Joining the alliance allows allies to unlock the organization’s Keepers’ Codes, a set of six principles created with young men of color across the country for their peer allies to learn and live by.
Spreading the word and sharing the Keepers’ Code provides an opportunity to raise awareness around the issues boys and young men of color face every day. The Keepers’ Code includes the following principles:
- We will struggle for equity together, because the struggle belongs to all of us — not just some of us.
- We will take ownership with urgency, because acting with urgency is proof that we share in the problem.
- We will learn from our collective history, because we cannot create future solutions for all of us without understanding the past struggles of some of us.
- We will be public about our beliefs and values, because if they are kept private — they do not exist.
- We will uncover our personal biases, in order to challenge the biases in our social circles.
- We will seek diverse points of view around every table, because if we don’t, our businesses and communities cannot thrive.