Editorial in response to My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

Dear Editor,

Angela M. Turner

Angela M. Turner

The Center for Self-Sufficiency (the Center) lauds President Obama’s recently announced initiative called My Brother’s Keeper.

With the support of the President and several national funders and businesses, this bold, new initiative will facilitate the changes needed to provide resources that can level the playing field for boys and young men of color.

We are excited about My Brother’s Keeper because the Center has been working tirelessly to remove barriers for men and women of color who happen to be ex-offenders for a number of years.

This initiative will help bring to the forefront the disparities that have long existed for men of color that start as early as childhood and, left unaddressed, compound through adulthood.

The failure of the current educational and judicial systems concerning this population is reflected in the over representation of this population in our criminal justice system.

It is critical that we as a society realize that efforts such as this will have a positive, long-term impact not only on our economy, but on our own families and communities.

It is our hope that My Brother’s Keeper, along with programs such as the Center’s Project 180 in Milwaukee and other similar initiatives throughout the country will confirm the linkage between fatherhood, education, the economy and criminal justice, and help these men, who are also fathers, sons, neighbors and potential leaders, gain meaningful employment, become productive members of society and leave a legacy for generations to come.

The Center for Self-Sufficiency, in partnership with Milwaukee County Child Support Services, is working diligently to address the issue of father-absent homes through its Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood Program (PRF).

Moreover, through Project 180, we offer comprehensive resources and mentoring to reduce the recidivism of ex-offenders.

The goal of these programs is to address low marriage rates and high rates of birth outside of marriage, high rates of father-absent households and high levels of male unemployment (particularly for African Americans).

With the President’s launch of My Brother’s Keeper, we are convinced that positive and proactive change is on the horizon and we stand ready to do our part to not only eliminate these disparities, but also to ensure Milwaukee leads the way to better and brighter futures for the city’s young men of color.

Angela M. Turner
President and CEO
Center for Self-Sufficiency
4465 N Oakland Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53211