My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) – Obama Foundation


In 2014, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) and issued a powerful call to action to close opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color. The initiative sparked candid dialogue and action around the country to help more of our young people reach their dreams, regardless of their race, gender, or socioeconomic status.

To scale and sustain this mission, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) was launched in 2015 as an independent nonprofit organization. Since launching, a national movement has grown: Nearly 250 cities, counties, and Tribal Nations have accepted the MBK Community Challenge — President Obama’s call to action to adopt innovative approaches, strengthen support, and build ladders of opportunity for boys and young men of color — scores of new initiatives have been implemented, and there has been an exponential increase in aligned private sector commitments, all helping to reduce barriers and expand opportunity.

Today, as an initiative of the Obama Foundation, MBK Alliance 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. Alongside our partners across sectors, we will accelerate impact in targeted communities, mobilize resources, and promote what works, all with the goal of encouraging mentorship, reducing youth violence, and improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color.


My Brother’s Keeper Detroit (MBK Detroit)

In April 2018, MBK Alliance launched a new national competition to identify and invest in communities that are making steady progress to substantially improve the lives of boys and young men of color.

The Foundation selected 19 organizations across 10 states and Puerto Rico as national models to expand evidence-based initiatives to reduce youth violence, grow effective mentorship programs, and measurably improve the lives of boys and young men of color. We’re dedicated to helping these dynamic communities and organizations accelerate impact, reduce barriers and build cross-sector coalitions focused on long-term success.

“My Brother’s Keeper was not about me, it was not about my presidency… It’s about all of us working together. Because ensuring that our young people can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them is the single most important task that we have as a nation.”

President Obama


National Impact Community: Detroit, MI

Black Family Development, Inc.

Key Implementation Partners

  • MBK Detroit
  • The Skillman Foundation
  • Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
  • Ceasefire Detroit
  • Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative
  • Detroit Crime Commission


About the Project

R.E.A.L. (Restorative, Engaged, Aspiring, Leading) Brothers is a cross-racial, cross-generational program focused on restorative practices and gang diversion. Black Family Development, in partnership with the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, will scale restorative practices efforts through youth and adult trainings. Black Family Development will lead restorative practices and justice training, engaging 500 young people, while the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation will train thirty local MBK partners, including the Detroit Police Department, who will each engage 50 young people.

Additionally, the R.E.A.L. Brothers effort includes an expansion of the work of Ceasefire Detroit and the Detroit Crime Commission. In 2017, Ceasefire precincts experienced a 19 percent reduction in homicides, and a 26 percent reduction in nonfatal shootings. Together, Ceasefire and the Detroit Crime Commission will focus on a continuum of violence reduction programming for two specific populations: those who are likely to engage with the criminal justice system and those who are returning from it.

Ceasefire Detroit will engage 300 male students from seven high schools with their proven curriculum, which includes a weekly discussion series, summer development and employment initiatives, and two annual youth summits. The Detroit Crime Commission will seek to scale the results of its New Beginnings program, which has used high-level gang intelligence to significantly suppress and divert gang activity. Collectively, these efforts represent a deepening of many of the goals established in the 2015 My Brother’s Keeper Detroit report and the start of a new chapter.