OAKLAND, Calif., June 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBKA), The California Endowment, The California Executives' Alliance, the City of Oakland, Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and other partners will host a landmark Career Summit on July 21 at the Oakland Convention Center. Career Summit partners include the four organizations launching the Bay Area BMoC Employment Project: Bay Area Council, LeadersUp, PolicyLink, and Urban Strategies Council.
The "Invest in Youth: Pathways to Success Boys and Men of Color Career Summit" will convene boys and men of color between the ages of 18 to 29, providing opportunities to interview with employers, connect to community resources, and participate in career preparation and leadership development training. The event focuses on overcoming the barriers to employment that disproportionately impact young men of color but is open to all young adults in the area. To date, the City of Oakland and the City of Richmond have joined a growing list of Participating Cities.
Blair Taylor, CEO of MBKA, said: "Over five million of our nation's 16 to 24 year olds are not working and not in school. These young people – also known as Opportunity Youth – represent both our biggest challenge and our biggest opportunity. No group within this segment has been more severely impacted than boys and men of color, who face diminished educational outcomes and the lowest rates of employment. MBKA is thrilled to convene and lead partners from the public, private, and social sectors to help these promising young men chart a course for positive long-term life outcomes through employment. Tapping the potential of this talented and fast-growing demographic is a national imperative that helps our youth gain invaluable work experience, places them on a pathway for continued personal and professional growth, and makes them a vital part of our 21st century economy."
The BMoC Career Summit is a catalyst for a collaborative commitment to continued partnership with workforce development providers in the Bay Area to recruit, train, and connect young men of color with job interviews at entry-level and mid-skill positions to ensure an inclusive regional economy. This inaugural Summit has activated a network of public sector and community partners helping to prepare over 400 BMoC to interview for employment opportunities leading up to the Summit and will continue to provide career development training to meet employment needs across the Bay Area region. The skill development, confidence-building, and access to jobs furthered by the Summit contribute to overcoming deeper systemic and structural barriers that have served as a stubborn impediment to gainful employment and work opportunities among BMoC.
Libby Schaaf, Mayor of the City of Oakland, said: "We have a moral obligation and an economic imperative to ensure that boys and men of color have the skills, resources, and opportunities to contribute fully in the classroom and in the workforce. Otherwise, we keep them and our country from reaching our full potential. As a My Brother's Keeper community, Oakland is excited to be a participating city in the regional Boys and Men of Color Career Summit and to host this important event in Oakland, where there is a strong commitment to improving outcomes for boys and men of color."
Marcelo Claure, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sprint Corporation and a Board Member of MBKA, said: "This is a tremendously important initiative and we are proud to partner in its success. These boys and young men have such incredible potential. With the work of MBKA and its partners, we break through the obstacles these individuals often face by providing opportunities. It will be up to them to accept the challenge and do the hard work. I'm confident that they will, which will benefit them and American business. I'm looking forward to seeing young men hired and trained through this initiative become leaders who help shape Sprint's future."
In addition to Sprint Corporation, a variety of companies from a cross-section of industries have signed on to support boys and men of color through participation in the BMoC Career Summit, including FedEx, Snapchat, and Starbucks. Additional participating employers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Gina Adams, FedEx Corporate Vice President for Government Affairs, said: "Connecting people with opportunities is what we do every day at FedEx, so we are thrilled to participate in this wonderful event and further our commitment to creating meaningful employment and economic opportunities for underserved populations. As an employer, we believe the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our team members is what makes us successful, and we are always working to recruit and develop top talent."
MBKA's commitment to the young people of the Bay Area serves as an activation of a broader local and national programmatic strategy that will include support for additional cities and regions in the coming months.
My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBKA) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving life outcomes for boys and men of color. MBKA works to unite leaders across philanthropic, nonprofit, and private sectors to eliminate gaps in opportunities and resources for our nation's youth. MBKA's mission is especially focused on increasing pathways of opportunity for boys and men of color who disproportionately face barriers to success as evidenced by below average reading levels, overrepresentation in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, and poverty. MBKA aims to change the narrative for young people through innovative, comprehensive, and sustained interventions in communities across the country. MBKA was established in 2015 in response to President Obama's national call to action set forth in the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative. In April 2016, former Starbucks executive Blair Taylor was appointed CEO of MBKA.
ABOUT THE BMOC CAREER SUMMIT
The "Invest in Youth: Pathways to Success Boys and Men of Color Career Summit" will take place on Thursday, July 21, 2016 at the Oakland Convention Center at 550 10th Street, Oakland, California. The Summit begins at 9:00a.m., concludes at 3:00p.m., and will be followed by an invitation-only reception. The summit will include a hiring pavilion with on-the-spot interviews, a career expo with professional networking opportunities, interactive skill-building workshops for young adults, a program for CEOs and influencers, and more.
For more information about the Summit or to register to participate, please visit www.mbkalliance.org/BayArea.
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SOURCE My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA)