Michael B. Jordan, Ryan Coogler, Victor Cruz, Ledisi, Sybrina Fulton, and Rep. Lucy McBath to Join President Obama, Stephen Curry, and John Legend at My Brother’s Keeper Alliance National Convening


CHICAGO, IL — Today, the Obama Foundation announced that Michael B. Jordan; Ryan Coogler; Victor Cruz; Ledisi; Karamo Brown; Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; and Rep. Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, will join President Barack Obama, Stephen Curry, John Legend, and hundreds of youth and community leaders from the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance for MBK Rising!, the Obama Foundation’s first national MBK Alliance convening. The gathering will take place in Oakland, California, February 18-20, 2019.

MBK Rising! will bring together hundreds of young men of color and leaders from organizations in the growing network of MBK Communities to connect, learn, and share. They will join President Obama in celebrating the achievements of organizations and communities leading the way in reducing youth violence, growing impactful mentorship programs, and improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color.

MBK Rising! will begin with a day of service on February 18 organized by and in partnership with Bay Area community-based organizations, with the convening itself February 19-20. Musical performances by Ledisi and John Legend will be featured at the gathering, at which President Obama will be joined by Stephen Curry for a town hall with young men of color. Filmmaker Ryan Coogler and actor/producer Michael B. Jordan will be in conversation about the importance of narrative and storytelling in empowering boys and young men of color and changing harmful attitudes and systems. More information may be found obama.org and cover topics such as efforts to reduce and prevent youth violence, impactful mentoring, MBK Communities sparking systemic change, masculinity and the role women and girls have played in this work, and perspectives from community-based leaders.

Other MBK Rising! speakers include:

  • Susan L. Taylor, Founder and CEO, CARES Mentoring Movement
  • Brittany Packnett, Activist and Co-Host, Pod Save The People
  • MJ Rodriguez, Actress and Activist
  • Karamo Brown, Star of Netflix’s “Queer Eye”
  • Aminata Toure, Member of Parliament, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
  • Alicia Garza, Strategy & Partnerships Director, National Domestic Workers’ Alliance and Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter
  • Robert K. Ross, M.D., President and CEO, the California Endowment
  • Dallas Goldtooth, Campaign Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Erik Stegman, Executive Director, Center for Native American Youth, Aspen Institute
  • David Shapiro, CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership
  • Ben Carlton, Co-Founder and National Fellowship Director, BMe Community
  • Rev. Wanda Johnson, CEO, Oscar Grant Foundation
  • Karol Mason, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Shaka Senghor, Executive Director, Anti-Recidivism Coalition
  • Dr. Lester Young, Member, New York State Education Department Board of Regents
  • Rashad Robinson, President, Color of Change
  • Edgar Villanueva, Vice President of Programs and Advocacy, Schott Foundation
  • Keith Wattley, Obama Foundation Fellow and Founder and Executive Director, UnCommon Law
  • Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

The event marks the fifth anniversary of the initial launch of My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative started by President Obama following the death of Trayvon Martin. The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, now part of the Obama Foundation, leads a national call to action to build safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear paths to opportunity — with a focus on encouraging mentorship and reducing youth violence. The Foundation recently announced $5 million in grants to organizations across the country serving as models of evidence-based initiatives measurably improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color. The convening will be an opportunity to reflect on the progress made over the years and build on this momentum.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Francisco Mayor London Breed are co-chairing MBK Rising!’s host committee as part of their My Brother’s Keeper Oakland and My Brother & Sister’s Keeper San Francisco initiatives.

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