(December 15, 2014) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced that the City of Hartford has accepted the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, an initiative by President Barack Obama that calls for community members, including local government leaders, businesses and charities, to help steer young minority males to colleges, universities and towards long-term careers.
“It is vital for us to address the challenges that some of our young men face and to break down any barriers keeping them from achieving success,” Segarra said. “Investing in the futures of our young men of color, is an economic necessity critical to maintaining a competitive workforce.”
Of the six major issues identified by the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, as challenges to adolescent minority males, the City of Hartford will focus on two: ensuring all youth out of school are employed and ensuring all youth remain safe from violent crime.
Mayor Segarra named Councilman Kyle Anderson as the program’s point person.
“I would like to thank Mayor Pedro Segarra for his confidence in me and appointing me to lead this life changing project for so many,” Councilman Anderson said. “Being an African American male myself and currently the father of three children, two of whom are boys in the target range, this is both a deeply personal and professional issue. As elected leaders we should engage other stake holders to come up with recommendations and sustainable strategies to make sure these young men have the support they need to become responsible contributing members of society."
A summit was held recently where representatives from Hartford Public Schools, the board of education, the Hartford Police Department, St. Francis Hospital, It’s a Gee Thang Barber and Beauty Salon, Office of State Representative McGee, Office of State Representative McCrory, the Board of Education, Hartford Public Schools, Hartford Police Department, Wilson Gray YMCA, Phillips Metropolitan CME Church, Greater Hartford NAACP, Hartford Community that Cares, Mother’s United Against Violence, It’s a Gee Thang Barber and Beauty Salon, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, 5th Assembly District Town Committee, Northeast NRZ, along with other community stakeholders to determine priorities and set goals. In the coming months, the group will review existing policies, programs and practices in order to produce recommendations.