WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The new private sector non-profit My Brother’s Keeper Alliance seeks to help young minority Americans gain equal opportunities in the US job market, President Barack Obama said in a speech announcing the establishment of the organization.
“We are here for the launch of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance,” Obama said on Monday. “It is a partnership with private businesses to help young Americans, many of color, but all young Americans with opportunities long after I’ve left office.”
The initiative is a volunteer program among US businesses designed to raise money for local programs devoted to education, reading, mentoring, job training and other efforts that can expand economic opportunity and turn young men away from despair and violence.
Major US corporations have contributed more than $80 million to the new non-profit.
Obama argued that the Alliance’s goals are economic imperatives and lack of opportunities would lead to the United States not operating at full capacity, and to violence like that in Baltimore last week.
“There are consequences to inaction,” Obama said. “Over time, it wears us out, and weakens our nation as a whole.”
Obama concluded that the existing lack of opportunity amidst minority as well as some white Americans does not have to continue, and he knows it from personal experience.
“I grew up without a dad, and grew up confused and a drift sometimes,” Obama said. “The only difference is I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving with people giving me a second or third chance, giving me a little guidance, or opening up a door that might have been closed.”
Dormer Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria will head the Alliance. Chavarria’s team will include the former basketball star Alonzo Mourning and the top executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance.