GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - President Obama has spoken up about his passion to help more young men of color who are facing especially tough odds. In a speech Thursday, he introduced his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative.
"The plain fact is there are some Americans who in the aggregate are consistently doing worse in our society. Groups that have had the odds stacked against them in unique ways that require unique solutions," said President Obama.
The group he is referring to is a demographic that happens to be struggling in cities all over America, even right here in South Mississippi.
"25 percent of our population here at the club, 13 and up, is males that are African American. I think that's excellent that the President is making an investment in the community," said Anthony Outten, with the Forrest Heights Unit of the Boys and Girls Club in Gulfport.
Data shows that boys and young men of color, regardless of socio-economic background, have a disadvantage throughout their journey from youth to college. Boys and Girls Club representatives are happy the President is speaking out on a problem they have worked hard on solving over the years.
"The President's outcomes are very similar to the outcomes of the Boys and Girls Club. They want to promote manhood, promote good citizenship, and it seems to promote education and values in our community," said Chris Fisher.
The President went on to talk about what responsibility communities have to help these young men knock down the barriers they continue to experience generation after generation.
"I'm just very excited about it. I'm very encouraged. It's a very positive step in developing our young men," said Fisher.
Millions of dollars have already been invested in the initiative. The supporting foundations plan to work over the next 90 days to design strategies on how to coordinate their investments.