President Barack Obama enters the East Room of the White House with Christian Champagne at the start of the "My Brother's Keeper," event, Feb. 27, 2014. "My Brother's Keeper" is an initiative to expand opportunity for young men and boys of color. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama enters the East Room of the White House with Christian Champagne at the start of the “My Brother’s Keeper,” event, Feb. 27, 2014. “My Brother’s Keeper” is an initiative to expand opportunity for young men and boys of color.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

IT IS the photo of the week and the event of his presidency that will define his legacy well beyond his two terms in office. My Brother’s Keeper fact sheet tells the details, which begin with opportunity for young men and boys who have dropped off the radar and often out of society.

Understanding The Problem

The data proves it: Boys and young men of color “” regardless of where they come from “” are disproportionately at risk from their youngest years through college and the early stages of their professional lives.

By the time they hit fourth grade, 86 percent of African American boys and 82 percent Hispanic boys are reading below proficiency levels “” compared to 54 percent of white fourth graders reading below proficiency levels.

African American and Hispanic young men are more than six times as likely to be victims of murder than their white peers “” and account for almost half of the country’s murder victims each year.

What My Brother’s Keeper could mean for families and young girls has the potential of being significant over time. It’s like a call to arms for a whole class of young men and boys who have been hurt more than any other segment of the American population by the economic hardships hitting middle and working class people.

From the My Brother's Keeper event on Thursday.

From the My Brother’s Keeper event on Thursday.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)