Louisville a leader in meeting My Brother’s Keeper Challenge

May 8, 2015
My Brother's Keeper

Eight months after accepting President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Challenge,” Louisville continues to lead the way in implementing programs to help young people - specifically young men and boys of color - stay on track, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.


“From kindergarten readiness to coding training for teens, from mentoring our most vulnerable to a cultural pass so all our children can experience Louisville’s greatest cultural assets, we are working tirelessly to give every child, regardless of what neighborhood they are born in, regardless of what family they are born to and regardless of their skin color, the opportunity to lead a happy, productive life,” Fischer said.


In September 2014, Louisville was one of the first cities to accept the challenge, and the Mayor noted that the milestones of the MBK Challenge overlap with work already occurring within the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods and the Cradle to Career lifelong learning initiative. This week and next, all participating cities and communities are updating their citizens on the work taking place.


The MBK Challenge is a call to action for everyone to work to enact sustainable change regarding education and career readiness, ensuring all young people can reach their full potential.


The Fischer administration and its partners have numerous initiatives underway to meet the MBK Challenge, including:


Milestone 1: Ensuring all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready

  • 1000 Books Before Kindergarten
  • Excellence Academy – Early Learning Centers;
  • Children Exposed to Violence;
  • BOUNCE – Building Resilient Children and Families; and
  • Kindergarten Countdown.


Milestone 2: Ensuring all children read at grade level by 3rd grade

  • Share 100 Stories Before 4th Grade;
  • 40210 Little Free Libraries Project;
  • Cultural Pass Challenge; and
  • Every 1 Reads.

Milestone 3: Ensuring all youth graduate from high school

  • JCPS Equity Scorecard;
  • Out of School Time Coordinating Council;
  • Street Academy;
  • Men of Quality;
  • Males of Color Resolution;
  • Boys of Color Celebration; and
  • Kentucky Youth Career Center.

Milestone 4: Ensuring all youth complete post-secondary education or training

  • Coalition Serving Young Adults;
  • 15,000 Degree Initiative;
  • ACT boot camps;
  • Coding at the Beech; and
  • Financial Aid workshop for boys of color.

Milestone 5: Ensuring all youth out of school are employed

  • Kentucky Youth Career Center;
  • SummerWorks;
  • Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Showcase;
  • LMG Commitment to Increasing Employment Opportunities;
  • Right Turn; and
  • Youth Build.

Milestone 6: Ensuring all youth remain safe from violent crime

  • Zones of Hope;
  • Metro Mentors;
  • Be the One Mentor Challenge;
  • JCPS & LMPD Liaison;
  • Fatherhood Programming at Metro Corrections;
  • JCPS Mental Health Counselors;
  • Psychological First-Aid Training; and
  • PAL Coalition – Youth Mental Health First Aid. 

Several of Louisville Metro Government’s partners in these efforts joined the Mayor for the event, including Dr. Donna Hargens, Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools; Joe Tolan, President and CEO of Metro United Way and Ben Richmond of the Louisville Urban League.

“This work is more important now than ever,” Fischer said. “With Ferguson, with Baltimore, with tragic incidents around the country, our nation has finally realized how important it is to ensure all citizens are heard, respected and provided with opportunities to succeed.”