US President Barack Obama has launched a new non-profit foundation intended to offer more opportunities to young minority men amid continued heated national debates about racial relations following the death of 25-year-old African-American Freddie Gray.
The new programme, “My Brother’s Keeper Alliance,” mirrored a previous Obama administration’s initiative, “My Brother’s Keeper,” launched in 2014 to tackle opportunity gap confronting minorities. Obama said that more than 200 communities nationwide had already pledged to contribute to his 2014 initiative, Xinhua reported.
“By almost every measure, the life chances of the average young man of color is worse than his peers,” said Obama at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York. “Those opportunity gaps begin early, often at birth, and they compound over time, becoming harder and harder to bridge, making too many young men and women feel like no matter how hard they try, they may never achieve their dreams.”
In a fact sheet released earlier, the White House said about 25 percent of African American and Hispanic males between the ages of 16 and 24 are neither employed nor in school.
The sense of unfairness and powerlessness, of people not hearing their voices, said Obama, helped fuel some of the protests in places like Baltimore and Ferguson and other cities around the US.
The city of Baltimore witnessed a widespread of protests, sometimes uncontrolled ones, in the past two weeks due to the death of Gray, who died of a deadly spinal cord injury sustained during police custody.
Maryland state attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby said on Friday that charges would be filed against all six Baltimore police officers involved in the Gray’s death, which was ruled by medical examiner as a homicide.