Office of Mayor William Peduto
The Sprout Fund Joins City and County to Advance "My Brother's Keeper" Initiative

PITTSBURGH, PA (July 19, 2016) - The City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County will be joined by The Sprout Fund in the next phase of the ongoing “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative (MBK) to close the opportunity gap for young people of color in the Pittsburgh region. With the support of a $200,000 grant from the Heinz Endowments, Sprout will work in partnership with the City and County to identify and employ a project manager, engage a planning consultant, and make grants totaling $100,000 to seed implementation projects that enhance access to learning experiences that connect young people of color to career opportunities in technology.

“There is tremendous opportunity in the Pittsburgh region today, but many members of our community lack equitable access to the educational experiences needed for jobs in rewarding fields,” said Cathy Lewis Long, Executive Director of The Sprout Fund. “We have a responsibility to do everything we can to make sure young people of color acquire the technological and academic skills they need to thrive.”

The project builds on efforts by the City, County, and a committee representing academia, the clergy, community groups, and school partners that led to the release of the local MBK Playbook in October 2015, which recommended several strategies to achieve social and economic equity.

“As a community, it’s important that we focus on providing youth and young men of color opportunities to share in the growth in our region,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “The MBK Playbook provides a game plan that can have a significant impact provided that we remain focused on the goals set forth in it. Having this support from The Sprout Fund and Heinz Endowments is going to help us ensure that we keep this effort on track.”

A planning consultant and project manager will work cooperatively to advance the initial work of the My Brother’s Keeper committee. The planning consultant will host community conversations in fall 2016 that will result in recommendations for providing high-quality technology learning experiences to more young people of color. The project manager will work with My Brother’s Keeper committee members and partner organizations to create measurable objectives, create an evaluation plan, and issue an annual report to the community.

Sprout will then make grants totaling $100,000 to fund pilot implementation projects that advance community recommendations to provide high-quality learning experiences in technology, digital literacy, and workforce readiness for young people of color during the first six months of 2017.

 “We can’t ensure equity without opportunity. This partnership with The Sprout Fund will help advance a two-year effort and will give local organizations, that have been doing this work already in our communities, the opportunity to have a say in a more inclusive digital ecosystem for all of our children,” said City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.

To build the team that will support this work over the next year, The Sprout Fund issued two Requests for Proposals:

  • Community & Stakeholder Planning Consultant to design and lead community stakeholder planning process and to prepare the initial recommendations that result from these discussions.
  • Project Manager to provide the ongoing project management for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and act as a liaison between and coordinator of participating organizations, including the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit www.sproutfund.org/mybrotherskeeper to see full details on these opportunities. Proposals are due by 5:00pm on Friday, August 5, 2016.

Community members interested in participating in or staying informed about progress on My Brother’s Keeper in Pittsburgh are encouraged to sign up to receive updates by completing this form.

 

About My Brother’s Keeper Pittsburgh

My Brother’s Keeper Pittsburgh is a local version of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative committed to ensuring that young people of color achieve academic proficiency in skills related to local economic opportunities so that all residents of the Pittsburgh region, especially young men of color, are able to benefit from the region’s growth. Learn more at http://pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/mbk/index.html

About The Sprout Fund

The Sprout Fund is Pittsburgh’s leading agency supporting innovative ideas, catalyzing community change, and making the region a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Sprout has worked with regional and national philanthropic partners to build strong networks and make hundreds of community-decided investments in early-stage projects, organizations, innovators, and activities. Learn more at http://www.sproutfund.org/

About The Heinz Endowments

The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to the work of the Heinz Endowments is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.

CONTACT: Ryan Coon, Program Officer, The Sprout Fund: ryan@sproutfund.org; (412) 325-0646 // (412) 867-5837

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