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Mayor’s Young Lansing Accepts My Brother’s Keeper Challenge

For Immediate Release: October 7, 2014

(Lansing, MI) On September 30, 2014, the City of Lansing was included in a White House press release issued by President Obama announcing over 100 cities across the nation as “early acceptors” of the White House My Brother’s Keeper Challenge. In June of 2014, the City of Lansing launched MY Lansing (Mayor’s Young Lansing Commission and Partnerships) with an action plan to measurably improve outcomes for children of color ages 0-25 and their families, with an emphasis on Black males.

A luncheon for partners will be held on Wednesday, October 8 at City Hall in the atrium from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The goal for the luncheon is that MY Lansing partners will be primed for action over the next 180 to meet the benchmarks set by the White House for the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge. Fortunately Lansing is well ahead of the curve and released the MY Lansing Action Plan in June 2014.

“Anyone concerned with the economic future of our community, our families, our neighborhoods, or our country, should know that empowering all our youth, including boys and young men of color, is an investment in our shared future, and our collective prosperity,” said Mayor Virg Bernero. The MY Lansing plan aligns with the MY Brother’s Keepers goals to:

A. Ensure all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready

B. Ensure all children read at grade level by 3rd grade

C. Ensure all youth graduate from high school

D. Ensure all youth complete post-secondary education or training

E. Ensure all youth out of school are employed

F. Ensure all youth remain safe from violent crime

To meet these goals, President Obama and the White House will join My Brother’s Keepers communities across the country in working to improve access to high quality early education, to close stubborn gaps in school readiness, to bolster reading support programs at all levels, and to promote “reading at home” and stronger reading cultures with parents.

Priorities for MY Lansing’s alignment with My Brother’s Keeper over the next 6 months include securing investments in backbone support, building a sustainable infrastructure for operations and shared measurement, and conducting a policy review to be facilitated in partnership with the Ingham Change Initiative, a local independent policy advocacy organization with a mission to improve outcomes for young men of color and other disadvantaged youth.

Over 100 partners have expressed interest in working across sectors to achieve these goals through community organizing for collective impact with a racial and gender equity lens to ensure that we are holding ourselves accountable for closing gaps in opportunity and outcomes for young Black and Latino males as well as for young women. MY Lansing focuses on 6 Pathways to Change: Power, Policy, Philanthropy, Programs, Practice, and Perception.

Angela Waters Austin, CEO of One Love Global Inc. and MY Lansing Executive Director is the local point of contact for the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge working in tandem with the City of Lansing Mayor’s Office of Community & Faith-Based Initiatives to ensure continuous communication with the White House and MY Lansing partners. For more information on how to get involved with MY Lansing, please contact

The MY Lansing Action Plan aligns with the MY Brother’s Keepers objectives to:

  • Work with school officials and parents to reduce school suspensions and expulsions

  • Initiate a public-private campaign to support mentoring programs, and actively recruit citizens to serve as mentors for our youth

  • Renew our effort to prevent violence and keep our young people safe, through targeted intervention, mediation, counseling, and multi-platform campaigns to reduce violence

  • Make sure young people have viable career paths, and the skills they need to compete in the 21st century workforce, we will engage with local businesses and others to increase summer jobs, internships, and apprenticeships for young people. We will also work with our community colleges, universities and advanced training programs to improve access and affordability.

  • Identify and implement policies that are proven to work; to forge action-oriented partnerships; and to closely track our progress and setbacks with data.

  • Ensure Lansing’s workforce can compete with the workforces of cities around the country and the world. Employers will want to set up shop here because they know we have a well prepared, diverse, and fully mobilized workforce.



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