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Children benefitting from city-wide 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative

NOW: Children benefitting from city-wide ’My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Wednesday night, crowds packed into the Charles Black Center to hear updates on South Bend’s’ ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative. 

The national’s initiative was started by former President Barack Obama, which empowers black and Latino children while providing mentorship in their lives. However, since taking on challenge in 2016, program leaders admit they have been ‘radio silent.’

“It’s alive and well,” said Kimberly Green Reeves, with ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ anchor organization Beacon Health Systems. “Although we were as Cherri mentioned before radio silent, that we have actually been doing some work.”

According to the following numbers, it shows the initiative is making progress within the city:

  • More than 14,000 young people served,
  • 90 percent black children, 
  • 87 percent are boys.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was on the panel on Wednesday night. The panel represented four of the thirteen community partners of the program, from South Bend Community School Corporation to the Juvenile Justice Center. 

“All of them need to have some intention around supporting young men and boys of color, who are being left behind far too often in our country and in our community,” said Mayor Buttigieg.

In the past week, ABC 57 News has spoken with the survivors of two shootings within the city. One of the shootings left a community activist, who was shot twice on Sunday, with a bullet still in his foot. 

South Bend resident Jalen Lee said the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative is essential in order to stop the violence and save the lives of black men. 

“Those acts, they hurt me because I love this city,” Lee said. “But ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is essential to have in the community because it’s beginning to stop the violence.’

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