“If America stands for anything, it stands for the idea of opportunity for everybody; the notion that no matter who you are, or where you came from, or the circumstances into which you were born, if you work hard, if you take responsibility, then you can make it in this country...”
– President Barack Obama, February 27, 2014.

Hero banner for homepage - African American men and boys in a group hug.

President Obama established My Brother’s Keeper in February 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential. The MBK Alliance was launched as an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) entity in 2015 to scale and sustain this critical mission.

The City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County embraced President Obama's call to action for My Brother's Keeper. In 2015, Mayor Bill Peduto, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and community leadership created a cross-sector alliance and made a firm commitment to join the national effort by creating a more equitable and inclusive Pittsburgh. In January of 2019, Mayor Peduto created the My Brother’s Keeper Coordinator position to evolve and elevate this work. The role is a blend between the Mayor’s Office and Citiparks. The role sits in the Office of Equity and focuses on policy and programs that enhance opportunity and outcomes for black men and boys in areas such as literacy, mentoring, workforce development, and violence prevention.

Read the full My Brothers Keeper Action Plan below:

Strategic Initiatives

MBK PAC enhances its role as a local leader and coordinator when it connects with stakeholders, funders, partners, and policy makers. Moveover, burgeoning regional and national relationships may also attract additional investment for the initiative as a whole or for individual partner organizations.

Building on this success, MBK PAC will continually survey the landscape and determine strategic initiatives that would add unique value to the community and the lives of boys and young men of color. Strategic initiatives are large, involved, partnership-driven, and require dedicated staff and funding over a longer timeframe.

The following strategic initiatives received the highest marks during the planning process (listed in descending order of identified importance):

  1. Mentorship
    Support mentorship activities that serve boys and young men of color and connect them to local opportunities for growth and enrichment
  2. Youth Summit
    Design and host a region-wide youth summit to lift up the voices of young people across Pittsburgh and Allegheny County
  3. Community of Practice
    Effectively connect organizations that serve boys and young men of color and share best practices among program providers; specific topic TBD
  4. Catalytic Grants
    Offer occasional mini-grant programs to catalyze new projects that increase collaboration between MBK stakeholders
  5. Ambassadors
    Develop and equip ambassadors who can support the work of MBK at the neighborhood level

When the heartbeat activities and strategic initiatives are combined, they will create a consistent flow of activity that will help raise the visibility of MBK PAC, increase collaboration between partner organizations, and, most importantly, increase opportunities for boys and young men of color in the Pittsburgh region.