Humanitarian Social Innovations is proud to introduce a new member of our social impact community: Lehigh Valley My Brother’s Keeper.
History of My Brother’s Keeper
Lehigh Valley My Brother’s Keeper is part of the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge, which President Barack Obama sponsored. President Obama started the initiative for civic leaders in local communities to promote racial justice and therefore improve the well-being of boys and young men of color. Since its launch in 2015, nearly 250 cities, counties, and tribal nations have participated. As of 2017, the national MBK Challenge organization has become an initiative of the Obama Foundation.
The initial meeting for Lehigh Valley MBK was at Muhlenberg College in 2015. The idea started in Allentown, however the alliance felt it needed to involve more civic leaders in the Lehigh Valley. As a result, the mayors of Easton and Bethlehem, along with community leaders, joined the cause. Former Lehigh County Commissioner David Jones is the LVMBK’s executive director.
Events and Impact
LVMBK runs several events that expose students to potential career paths. The events show the medical, energy, engineering, and and other fields to prepare them for their careers. LVMBK hosts the Education Excellence Awards to recognize high-achieving Hispanic and African-American students during cultural celebration months. This year’s African-American Education Excellence Awards will take place on February 28. LVMBK will also host Career Day on February 21 of this year. Career Day is an opportunity for students to visit Air Products so they can learn about different engineering career paths. Midnight Basketball has also been a successful mentoring program for 300 students, teaching financial, career, and life skills.
Vision for the Future
The vision for the future growth and impact of Lehigh Valley My Brother’s Keeper goes far beyond what it has already accomplished. It will work to turn the Education Excellence Awards into a scholarship program and launch an academic summer camp for 8-9 graders. It will also expand their mentoring initiatives to be year-round. LVMBK also strives to create a support system for young men of color as they transition out of incarceration back into their neighborhoods, homes, families and jobs.
LVMBK hopes to eliminate as quickly and thoroughly as possible, the barriers that restrain boys and young men of color from achieving their full potential. As a result, Humanitarian Social Innovations will collaborate with LVMBK to help the organization reach that goal and to create new opportunities and growth for the Lehigh Valley.
For more information on LVMBK, click here.