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2024 My Brother's Keeper Symposium


The New York State Education Department (NYSED) hosted the 2024 New York State My Brother’s Keeper (NYSMBK) Symposium on May 30 in Albany. More than 1,000 students, parents, educational leaders, advocates, and experts from across the nation came together for the annual symposium on My Brother’s Keeper, the initiative to help boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential. The event featured nationally renowned guest speakers and student and educator panels.

NYSED also named the seventh class of the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Fellows. Each Fellow will be matched with a mentor from a NYSMBK Community Network partner and given a fellowship opportunity.

Adult Breakout Sessions

Family and Community Engagement for Impact

Presenter: Mr. Chris Crumpler
Meeting Room 1
2:30-4:30 PM

This dynamic workshop is designed to equip participants with best practices for fostering meaningful connections between schools, families, and communities. Participants will explore strategies for effective communication, collaboration, and involvement, aimed at enhancing student success and community well-being. Through interactive discussions and practical examples, attendees will gain insights into building strong partnerships and leveraging resources for positive outcomes in education and beyond.

Leveraging My Brother’s Keeper for District Transformation

Presenters: Dr. Deborah Wortham, Mr. Tonio Simmons, Dr. Jeremiah Sumter, and Mr. Spencer Belcher with Justin McDonald and Angel Chevalier (representing the student body)
Meeting Room 2
2:30-4:30 PM

This transformative session is designed to empower participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to relaunch initiatives supporting boys and young men of color. Drawing from best practices in both educational and personal development spheres, attendees will gain invaluable insights into revitalizing and strengthening their programs. Through interactive discussions, case studies, and practical exercises, participants will learn how to effectively engage with stakeholders, leverage resources, and implement evidence-based strategies for maximum impact. This workshop provides a collaborative platform for sharing experiences, fostering innovation, and advancing the well-being and success of boys and young men of color in our communities.

Launching Your District Financial Literacy Initiative

Presenter: Ms. Celeste Terry
Meeting Room 3
2:30-4:30 PM

This informative workshop is highlighting the successful financial literacy model implemented by Community School District 18 in Brooklyn, New York. Participants will learn firsthand how this district has effectively launched an immersive Financial Literacy initiative, catering to students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Through engaging presentations, practical demonstrations, and insightful discussions, attendees will gain valuable insights into the strategies, resources, and partnerships essential for replicating similar initiatives in their own school communities. With a focus on long-term implications for college tuition and financial well-being, this workshop offers practical guidance and inspiration for empowering students with essential financial skills for life.

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance National Certification and the Pathway to Population Level Change in New York

Presenters: Mr. Sean Greene, Mr. Javier Alaniz, and Mr. MacArthur Antigua
Meeting Room 4
2:30-4:30 PM

Join My Brother’s Keeper Alliance National leaders as we share how we are supporting you to build on your existing successes and achieve population level impact for boys and young men of color in your community and review the steps and requirements for national certification. In collaboration with our ongoing partners at New York State Education Department and informed by the successes of our Model Community – MBK Yonkers and our three NY Certified Communities (MBK New York City, MBK Ossining, and MBK Uniondale), the MBK Alliance is updating our approach to meet districts where you’re at and provide the targeted supports needed to deepen impact among your youth. This session will clearly lay out the National standards for MBK Communities, opportunities for continuous improvement, and next steps for NY chapters ready to excel in the MBK movement and foster meaningful change for generations to come. Finally, NYSED staff will be in attendance to explore what activities are being successful and what areas need additional support and attention.

The Work of Healing Ourselves: The Power of MBK for Mentors and Students

Presenter: Dr. Yolanda Sealey- Ruiz
Meeting Room 5
2:30-4:30 PM

Join us for an immersive journey into the empowering world of Wounded Healing in Education. In this dynamic workshop, we'll delve into the transformative power of mentorship within the renowned My Brother's Keeper initiative. Get ready to unlock profound insights as we uncover how both mentors and mentees experience remarkable growth and mutual empowerment. Here's what you can expect:

  • Discover the profound concept of Wounded Healing in Education
  • Explore the transformative impact of mentorship within My Brother's Keeper
  • Engage in thought-provoking discussions on shared growth and empowerment
  • Gain practical strategies for fostering meaningful mentor-mentee relationships
  • Walk away inspired and equipped to make a positive difference in your educational community

Don't miss out on this opportunity to be part of a movement that's shaping the future of education!

*Each session is 90 minutes inclusive of Q and A and thirty minutes are built into the schedule for scheduling flexibility. In the event no flexibility is needed, we invite you to network and make new professional connections.

Student Breakout Sessions

Special Session: Your Government at Work: Behind the Scenes - A New York State Legislative Tour

Presenters: Selected NYSED Staff
2:30-4:30 PM

In this special session, selected students will have a unique and immersive experience as they delve into the heart of New York State government in this special breakout session to the 2024 MBK Symposium. "Your Government at Work: Behind the Scenes" offers an exclusive opportunity for the 2024 MBK Fellows to engage with selected New York State lawmakers, explore the historic halls where laws are crafted, and gain insight into the intricate processes of budgetary decision-making.

Throughout the tour, participants will have the chance to meet and converse with esteemed New York State legislators, learning firsthand about their roles, responsibilities, and the legislative issues shaping the future of the state. From discussing policy priorities to understanding the complexities of navigating the legislative landscape, this workshop provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of state governance.

* More details will be provided

Four Steps to Financial Literacy and Long-term Wealth: What Teenagers Must Know

Presenters: Selected NYSED Staff
Meeting Room 6
2:30-4:30 PM

Inspired by Jemal King's groundbreaking book, 9 to 5 Millionaire, this workshop is designed to equip teenagers with essential knowledge and skills to secure their financial future. Here is what you can expect:

  • Learn the fundamental principles of financial literacy that are crucial for long-term wealth building
  • Discover practical strategies to manage money effectively and make smart financial decisions
  • Explore key concepts such as budgeting, saving, investing, and debt management
  • Gain insights into building wealth early and setting yourself up for long term financial success

Join us for an empowering session that will set you on the path to financial independence and long-term prosperity. Do not miss this opportunity to take control of your financial future!

We Gon’ Make It Anyway: Guiding Principles and Life Lessons to Enhance Young Men of Color

Presenter: Keith L. Brown
Swyer Theater

2:30-4:30 PM

In this highly interactive session with Keith L. Brown, Principal Speaker and Lead Consultant of 2020 Enterprises, Keith shares his invaluable insights on navigating life's journey with excellence and resilience. In this workshop, students will gain practical strategies and powerful life lessons to elevate their path to success. Here is what students and their mentors can expect:

  • Uncover tangible content and strategies for operating in excellence and resilience
  • Learn the art of self-advocacy and intentional pursuit of success and significance
  • Gain a blueprint for success that you can apply in high school, post-secondary education, and beyond
  • Discover how to maximize your personal and professional potential with intentionality

Do not miss this transformative opportunity to unlock your full potential and embark on a journey towards greatness!