My Brother’s Keeper: A chance to create an environment where San Jose’s boys and young men of color can thrive

MBK: San Jose

Leading the My Brother's Keeper: San Jose efforts are co-chairs Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose; Norberto Duenas, San Jose City Manager; and Emmett Carson, CEO and President of SVCF.

Gina Dalma
Gina Dalma

It has been almost two years since SVCF – together with San José Mayor Sam Liccardo – launched the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in San Jose. We have brought our community together, decided to focus on four key goals for our children and structured a framework to achieve the goals we have set for them.

After months of collaboration, the City of San Jose, SVCF and Applied Survey Research are proud to have completed the My Brother’s Keeper: San Jose Local Action Plan, which specifies the framework under which community leaders will work together to ensure boys and young men of color in San Jose thrive.

MBK: San Jose began with the premise that we have not done enough as a city and as a society to set the stage for our children to reach their full potential – specifically for San Jose’s boys and young men of color. In fact, the sad fact is that our programs and policies often are among the factors that hold them back. The data about how our children are faring is enough to keep us awake at night:

  • 3 out of 5 black and Latino kindergarten boys in Santa Clara County are not entering school ready to learn, and fail to read proficiently by the third grade;
  • Only 20 percent of students of color take college-track high school courses in 8th grade.
  • More than 1 out of 10 Latino boys drop out of high school

The promise of MBK is that the Mayor’s Office, the City Manager, SVCF  and all our community partners will work tirelessly and together to ensure that every pertinent program and policy is focused on a single goal – ensuring a system that supports our children’ development, not one that holds them back. This initiative is not about allocating more resources to fix problems, it is about ensuring that we do better with the resources we have.

This public-private partnership is more powerful because of this. We are charged with using our ingenuity, skills, strength and passion to achieve what is a right for all the city’s children and young adults – specifically our boys and young men of color.

The goals set by MBK:SJ are ambitious: Boys and young men of color must have an equal opportunity to thrive once they get to kindergarten; must be able to read to learn; must graduate from high school being ready for college and career; and the community must create pathways to success for those youth that have engaged in crime.

We encourage you to review the Action Plan and get engaged with our efforts, because we are all My Brother’s Keeper.