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My Brother's Keeper (MBK)

2018 Symposium for MBK Communities and MBK Grant-Funded Programs

The New York State Education Department hosted the 2018 New York State My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Symposium on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28 in Albany. More than 600 students, parents, educational leaders, and citizens from across New York State gathered for a two-day symposium on the MBK initiative to help boys and young men of color - and all students - realize their full potential.

We were pleased to have one of the most sought-after education speakers in the country, Baruti Kafele, as our keynote speaker! We were also extremely fortunate to have Dr. Ronald Ferguson and Dr. Yolanda Sealy-Ruiz add significant value and insights to best equip participants to meet the needs of our diverse student body in New York State.

In addition to providing resources and motivating and inspiring participants, we also inducted the inaugural class of the MBK Fellows.

The 2018 NYS MBK Symposium agenda is available here.

Video: New York State My Brother's Keeper: A Movement Two Years in the Making
In this video, MBK students, school administrators, Chancellor Rosa, Vice Chancellor Brown, Regent Young, and Commissioner Elia talk about the positive impact of the NYS MBK initiative.

Baruti Kafele, Best-selling author; Dr. Yolanda Sealy-Ruiz, Columbia University; and Dr. Ronald Ferguson, Harvard University
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My Brother's Keeper

In 2014, President Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force at the federal level. The Task Force was an interagency effort focused on closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color so that all young people have the chance to reach their full potential.

With the adoption of the 2016–2017 New York State Budget, New York became the first state to accept the President’s challenge and enacted the My Brother’s Keeper initiative into law. The budget included a $20 million investment in support of the initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.

National MBK Milestones

At the national level, MBK is focused on ensuring that all children:

  1. Enter school ready to learn;
  2. Read at grade level by third grade;
  3. Graduate from high school ready for college and career;
  4. Complete postsecondary education or training;
  5. Successfully enter the workforce; and
  6. Grow up in safe communities and get a second chance if they make a mistake.


In addition to supporting the six milestones set at the national level, New York’s MBK initiative is also committed to: 

  1. Ensuring equitable access to high quality schools and programs;
  2. Expanding prevention, early warning, and intervention services;
  3. Using differentiated approaches based on need and culture;
  4. Responding to structural and institutional racism;
  5. Making comprehensive and coordinated support services widely available; and
  6. Engaging families and communities in a trusted and respectful way.

New York State My Brother's Keeper Report

This report commissioned by the New York State Education Department explores strategies to help boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential. The report, New York State Education Department My Brother’s Keeper Guidance Document: Emerging Practices for Schools and Communities, provides an overview of the outcome trends among boys of color in K-12 school environments, and a research review of the most prevalent strategies currently being implemented in schools and communities across the country.

My Brother’s Keeper Native American Program (MBKNAP) Grant—$750,000

The purpose of the MBK Native American Program is to increase the academic achievement and college/career readiness of Native American students, with emphasis on boys and young men.

For additional information, please review the revised grant application documents:

My Brother’s Keeper Fellows Program (MBKFP) Grant—$250,000

The purpose of the Fellows grant is to provide 11th grade high school students, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color, with opportunities to gain authentic leadership experience(s) and develop service projects beneficial to the schools they attend and the communities they live in.

For additional information, please review the revised grant application documents:

My Brother’s Keeper Exemplary School Models and Practices (ESMP)—$2 Million

The State Education Department will award grants to districts that will develop and/or expand exemplary high quality college and career readiness school models, programs and practices that demonstrate cultural and linguistic responsiveness, that emphasize the needs of boys and young men of color.

Update 1/16/18: Deadline Extended! New applications are being accepted. All applications must be postmarked by February 7, 2018. For additional information, please review the revised grant application documents:

My Brother’s Keeper Challenge—$7 Million

The State Education Department (SED) will award up to 70 grants as an incentive and support for school districts to accept the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Milestones Challenge. This grant is designed to encourage regions and school districts to develop and execute coherent cradle-to-career college strategies that are aimed at improving the life outcomes for boys and young men of color.

Grants will be awarded through a competitive process and must address one or more of the MBK Milestones.

Teacher Opportunity Corps II—$3 Million

The State Education Department seeks to invest in programs that bolster the retention of highly qualified individuals who value equity and reflect the diversity inside and outside of our classrooms, particularly in high-need schools with recurrent teacher shortages. 

Successful grantee programs will incorporate proven strategies for teacher retention and best practice, such as mentors for new teachers and differentiated instructional techniques.

Office of Family and Community Engagement—$8 Million

The State Education Department was awarded $2 million to create a new office that will develop statewide policy and offer school districts best practices for communicating with families and local communities. 

SED will award $6 million in grants for school districts, community-based organizations, and other groups to improve family engagement efforts in local communities. 

These efforts might include parent advocacy and/or creating outreach material in home languages so families can learn how to enhance school success for their children beginning at the earliest ages through high school and beyond.


Blue Ribbon Committee

In 2015, the New York State Board of Regents convened a Blue Ribbon Committee consisting of state, regional and national experts including practitioners representing education Pre K-20, community based organizations, youth development, health, elected officials, and state-wide professional organizations. The committee was charged with examining the educational challenges and opportunities boys and young men of color face on a daily basis and to recommend strategies to address the challenges and expand opportunities to increase their educational successes.

List of Blue Ribbon Committee Members

For more information on Grant Opportunities and MBK in NYS, email:






The NYSMBK logo is a multiracial image of a male at different stages of development. The triple image is designed to represent the anticipated and expected progress and growth of boys and young men of color in New York State, as a result of the MBK initiative.

Guidelines for Logo Use

  • The NYSMBK logo may not be used to endorse any commercial product or service, nor may the logo be used in advertising or in any manner that could give rise to the appearance of endorsement.
  • The NYSMBK logo may only be used in connection with distribution of information about the New York State My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, as found on the NYSMBK website. Any other uses are unauthorized.