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February 13, 2024
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JP O'Hare

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Board of Regents and State Education Department Announce the Publication of "On a Path to Educational Equity: The Story of MBK in New York State"

Booklet Chronicles the Creation, Growth, and Success of the My Brother’s Keeper Program in NYS

The New York State Board of Regents and State Education Department (NYSED) are proud to announce the publication of On a Path to Educational Equity: The Story of MBK in New York State. The booklet documents the development of the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative, from its establishment at the national level to its adoption and steady growth in New York State.  The book was presented at the Board of Regents meeting in Albany yesterday.

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “The Story of MBK is more than a celebration of the program’s success over time. It is also a way for us to preserve and commemorate the history of the New York State MBK movement for posterity. Perhaps most importantly, The Story of MBK gives voice to young people of color, whose stories are so often overlooked or misrepresented in historical accounts and other narratives.” 

Chancellor Young continued, “From its roots in biblical times to its role in the Civil Rights Movement, the phrase my brother’s keeper has been a source of inspiration throughout history. It continues to be a source of inspiration today, reminding us of the importance of supporting one another and working together to create a better future for all.”

Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “New York State’s MBK initiative is succeeding beyond anyone’s imagination. Every day, program participants are gaining the skills they’ll need to succeed in school and in life, and The Story of MBK does a wonderful job of capturing their success stories and the success of the program.

“I am so grateful for the enormous level of support the program receives – from families and mentors; schools and school districts; mayors and local governments; and significantly, from legislative leaders like Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who have been unwavering in their commitment to New York’s children and youth,” Commissioner Rosa concluded. 

In 2014, President Barack Obama launched the federal MBK initiative to address race-based inequities. As described by the White House at that time, the goal of the initiative was to “address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.”

The following year, in response to the national MBK initiative, the Board of Regents established the Regents Workgroup to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color. The Workgroup examined the educational challenges and opportunities faced by boys and young men of color, and made policy, budget, and legislative recommendations to address these challenges.

New York became the first state in the nation to accept the MBK Community Challenge when the State Assembly secured $20 million in the 2016-2017 State Budget to fund programs specifically aimed at helping boys and young men of color succeed inside and outside the classroom.

The Story of MBK in New York State describes New York’s unique approach to implementing MBK statewide and documents the program’s steady growth over the years. It will provide the reader with insights into the policy decisions, organizational structures, legislative processes, and aggressive timeline that resulted in New York State becoming the first and only state in the nation to enact MBK into state law, together with a dedicated funding source.

The booklet also explains how MBK utilizes community networks, grant programs, and student-centered symposia to drive change and details the various resources the State makes available to schools and communities to help them implement the ideals of MBK throughout New York. The publication concludes with a look at the next steps in New York’s march to educational equity.

To view the publication in its entirety, please visit NYSED’s My Brother’s Keeper website

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