Cory S. Anderson, Vice President of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, New York Times, March 13, 2014: President Obama’s approach, painting a bright red target on the problem, is the only worthwhile strategy at his level. To be clear, the targets are not boys and men of color. The targets are systematic inequities and disparate outcomes. And the My Brother's Keeper initiative aims to address them in a way that will benefit all Americans: by identifying and expanding effective programs, and by building better policy and clearer pathways to success for boys and men of color.
Talking about solutions in terms of race and gender, while problematic for some, is unavoidably necessary.
It’s no secret that they are disproportionately represented in and impacted by nearly every negative statistic and circumstance that you can think of. It is, however, a widely unacknowledged truth that the negative life outcomes experienced by so many of us originate in generations of disparate treatment. Talking about solutions in terms of race and gender, while problematic for some, is unavoidably necessary. History has taught us that anything less than an explicit approach will leave us far short of our goals. We can’t opt to simply manage the pain; we have to cure the causes.
We all agree that we need to close opportunity gaps and create educational and economic pathways that make it possible for every citizen to succeed. You can’t do that without supporting young men of color and recognizing the important role that they play in strengthening our communities and our economy.