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My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Announces Chicago Grant Recipients

11/28/2018, noon | Updated on 11/28/2018, noon
My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an initiative of the Obama Foundation, recently announced the winners of its inaugural MBK Community Challenge ...
Five Chicago organizations were recently recognized by the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an initiative of the Obama Foundation, as winners of its inaugural Community Challenge Competition. Photo Credit: The Obama Foundation

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Announces Chicago Grant Recipients

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an initiative of the Obama Foundation, recently announced the winners of its inaugural MBK Community Challenge Competition. Of the 19 organizations that were selected as winners, 5 were from Chicago and will become a unique cohort within the initiative.

“The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is a federal policy initiative and also a

local call to action in cities, municipalities, counties, communities, and tribal nations across the country to learn what communities can do together to support boys and men of color,” said Jaime Guzman, director of Local Programs with the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

In April, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance launched the first Community Challenge Competition to identify and invest in community organizations that are making steady progress to substantially improve the lives of boys and young men of color, according to the Obama Foundation website.

It was through the Community Challenge Competition that BUILD, Inc., the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, New Life Centers of Chicagoland, and South Shore Drill Team & Performing Arts Ensemble were selected to receive Chicago Seed Grants and how Youth Guidance and Thrive Chicago together were named as a National Impact Community.

In total, more than $5 million in grant money was awarded to the 19 organizations that were named as winners of the Community Challenge Competition.

The Lawndale Christian Legal Center, a nonprofit that provides legal services grounded in restorative justice for youth in the Lawndale area, received a Chicago Seed Grant through the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge Competition.

Shanika Brown, a street outreach worker for the organization, said that she sees this grant as a way to provide services for more young men and get them off the streets and out of the criminal justice system for good.

“I think that My Brother’s Keepers grant will help us a lot in the community as far as putting the guys to work and having them do something positive versus just hanging out on the street all day and catching cases,” said Brown.

“I think the grant will help some of the guys in the neighborhood see that the legal center is not all focused on legal. We focus on all aspects like case management, social work, and basically, we are just trying to help them in whatever way they would let us help them. This grant will allow us to help the guys and put them to work and provide resources for them that we couldn’t provide before.”

The five Chicago organizations that were recognized as winners of the Community Challenge Competition will become the first My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Chicago Cohort.

“In Chicago, we are going to have a cohort within a cohort. It’s the start of what we hope will be a growing table of organizations across the city that are tackling this work, learning from each other, and shining a spotlight on other work that is happening in the city,” said Guzman.