In Time for Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative a New HIP Report


As President Barack Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper Initiative on Feb. 27 to rally and guide government and philanthropic efforts on behalf of males of color, Hispanics in Philanthropy released a report highlighting promising practices and ways to assure that Latino men and boys benefit along with the Blacks that are deservedly targeted in many such efforts.

“The Right to Dream, Promising Practices Improve Odds for Latino Men and Boys” spotlights programs that are working and discusses opportunities for strategic social investments to help the backbone of America’s future workforce, as the ranks of Hispanic males continue to grow, easily outpacing other groups.

Consultant Elizabeth Marie Vance and HIP Program Manager Lacy Maria Serros are the report’s primary authors. The foreword was written by Manuel Pastor, Ph.D., founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a University of Southern California Professor of Sociology and Ethnicity, who directs its Program for Environmental and Regional Equity.

In directing that the Department of Education establish a website for My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to monitor progress of males of color, President Obama welcomed a new five-year, $200 million philanthropic commitment to invest in the areas of parenting, education, job programs and criminal justice.

The HIP report specifically shows ways to support programs that apply culturally sensitive techniques to disrupt the school-to-jail pipeline and repair the education-to-employment pipeline. “The Right to Dream” gives examples of promising practices that create pathways for youths to want to stay in school, complete their education or training, and pursue successful careers, regardless of immigration status.

It is organized around five experiences that define social and economic equity for men and boys of color, which in turn highlight nine priorities to remove structural barriers to success and allow young Latino men to see a clear path toward a positive future.

Through its exemplary programs, the report highlights the value of addressing six critical intervention areas: encouragement through intergenerational relationships; building on the importance of family ties; civic engagement that empowers young men in seeking to overcome inequities that they face; forming partnerships with public systems; reinforcing cultural identity, and addressing immigration status.

“Perhaps most significant is that the concern about racial inequality is no longer driven purely by a sense of injustice but also by a worry that America’s competiveness will slip if we do not skill up those who will be the future workforce,” Dr. Pastor said in the “The Right to Dream.” “It’s a welcome and positive shift in the debate – and one to which this report contributes.”