At a staggering rate of 716 incarcerations for every 100,000 residents, the U.S. has the largest prison rate in the world according to the Prison Policy Initiative. Of the prison population, over 93% of those serving time are male.
That number is mind-blowing.
So why isn’t there a larger discussion about this epidemic, and what can we do as a community to help mitigate the issue and keep our men out of the system?
My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) is one such initiative that has made its way into public discourse, with clear cut goals and objectives outlined for those communities wanting to make a difference. Presented by President Obama in 2014, MBK has gained traction, with 49 states, D.C., and 19 Tribal Nations who have accepted the community challenge.
Last Thursday, April 7, Long Beach hosted a summit officially announcing the city’s acceptance of the challenge.
What makes the plan unique to Long Beach is the city’s status as the most ethnically diverse in the U.S.
So what are the six key points of the plan and how do we achieve these goals?
- Ensure that Long Beach youth are physically and mentally prepared to start school
- Read at grade level by the third grade
- Graduate from high school
- Complete post-secondary education or training
- Successfully enter the workforce
- Remain safe from violent crime
This is where Power 4 Youth steps in. Mentoring is specifically integral to meeting point number 3, and Power 4 Youth (along with other mentor programs in the city) signed-on to MBK to help achieve this goal.
Our program has served over 350 students, helping them set goals, improve their reading skills and grades, graduate high school, and develop critical life skills. But, we can’t do it alone. We need YOUR help!
P4Y currently has a number of male students on a waiting list to be matched with volunteers. If you’re in the Long Beach area and looking to make a positive and lasting impact, join us for an information session.
For more information about our program contact our Match Supervisor, Samana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to learn more about MBK and how you can get involved.