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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2021
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

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New York State My Brother’s Keeper Community Network Reaches 31 Member Communities

The New York State My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Network now includes 31 member communities, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. MBK recently added connections with Arlington, Elmont, Roosevelt, Sewanhaka and Uniondale to join the growing initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.

“We are extremely proud to expand the New York State My Brother’s Keeper community network to include 31 communities,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. “By achieving this milestone, we are able to reach more boys and young men of color and help make a difference in their lives. The additions of Arlington, Elmont, Roosevelt, Sewanhaka and Uniondale will make our MBK community network even stronger.”

“As the New York State My Brother’s Keeper initiative grows, we are able to provide even more students with programs and strategies that help them realize their full potential,” Commissioner Rosa said. “We thank Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and their colleagues for their continued support of the New York State MBK program to ensure that boys and young men of color are provided with high-quality educational opportunities.”

MBK Community Network

To join the NYS MBK Community Network, the school superintendent and local government official must sign a joint letter to the State Education Department indicating their support of, and commitment to, meeting the six MBK National milestones and the six New York State MBK goals. Upon becoming a member of the statewide network, a community gains the support of NYSED's Office of Access, Equity and Community Engagement Services to help build a community initiative and develop a local MBK action plan.

The following communities are part of the MBK Community Network:

  1. Albany
  2. Arlington
  3. Brentwood
  4. Bronx
  5. Brooklyn
  6. Buffalo
  7. Dunkirk
  8. East Ramapo
  9. Elmont
  10. Greenburgh
  11. Hudson
  12. Ithaca
  13. Lyons
  14. Manhattan
  15. Monticello
  16. Mt. Pleasant Cottage UFSD
  17. Mt. Vernon
  18. Newburgh
  19. New Rochelle
  20. Ossining
  21. Peekskill
  22. Poughkeepsie
  23. Queens
  24. Rochester
  25. Roosevelt
  26. Sewanhaka
  27. Staten Island
  28. Syracuse
  29. Uniondale
  30. White Plains
  31. Yonkers

The MBK Initiative

In 2014, former President Barack Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper 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 2016–17 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. 

The MBK Fellows Program provides leadership opportunities to rising high school seniors, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color. To date, New York State has inducted a total 247 Fellows. Each is paired with a mentor from a New York State MBK Community Network partner and participates in a fellowship in a local government office, partnering business or educational institute. Fellows develop service projects beneficial to the schools they attend and the communities they live in. NYSED has awarded over $1 million in grant funds to support this program since 2016.  

NYSED has awarded $3.6 million in grants for the MBK Exemplary School Models and Practices Program since 2016 to close the achievement gap and increase the academic and college and career readiness of students, with an emphasis on boys and young men of color. The primary objective of this program is to investigate, replicate and expand educational programs and models that build academic identity and social capital for underachieving youth. 

Since 2016, NYSED has awarded more than $3.3 million in grant funds to 11 school districts for the MBK Native American Program. The goal of the program is to increase the academic achievement and college/career readiness of Native American students, with an emphasis on boys and young men.  

Also since 2016, NYSED has awarded more than $30 million in grants to school districts for the MBK Family and Community Engagement Program. These grants support programs to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color while fostering the development of effective relationships with families to promote the success of all students.

NYSED has awarded $42 million in MBK Challenge Grants to school districts since 2016. The MBK Challenge Grant Program is designed to encourage regions and school districts to develop and execute coherent cradle-to-career college strategies.

Finally, since 2016, NYSED has awarded $18.45 million in Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) grants to 23 colleges and universities. The TOC II statewide enrollment as of February 2021 was 594, with TOC II institutions reporting 442 graduates of the program. Eligible applicants are New York State public and independent degree-granting colleges and universities that have a teacher preparation (undergraduate or graduate) program approved by NYSED.

Visit the Department’s My Brother’s Keeper website for details on this movement and for information on how to subscribe to the MBK Newsletter, “Changing the Narrative.”