My Brother’s Keeper: Closing Opportunity Gaps by Funding What Works (Urban Institute)

By Mayookha Mitra-Majumdar

My Brother’s Keeper co-hosted the first-ever What Works Showcase at the White House yesterday in partnership with the U.S. Department of EducationResults for America,Campaign for Black Male Achievement, and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. The Showcase featured evidence-based program models and interventions that can help accomplish MBK’s cradle-to college-and career-goals, including Nurse-Family PartnershipReading Partners,Urban AllianceYear UpRoca Inc.Big Brothers Big Sisters, and several more. 

Launched by President Obama in 2014, My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) focuses on developing and scaling evidence-based interventions to address opportunity gaps faced by young men of color, including through pay for success (PFS). Since its launch, over 240 communities in all 50 states have responded to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, the private sector has committed more than $1 billion to the initiative, and new policy initiatives and grant programs have been developed in alignment with MBK.

Evidence is embedded into MBK’s DNA, as Michael Smith and Dave Wilkinson of MBK say:

We’ve learned a lot over the last eight years, in large part thanks to courageous community organizations that are rigorously examining their work and finding the best, most effective ways to help youth in need. All of us seeking better outcomes of boys and young men of color and more broadly advancing opportunity and justice for all youth can benefit from seeing these models and learning how they’re using data and evidence to measurably improve lives.”

MBK is part of a larger commitment by the Obama Administration to use data and evidence to identify and scale what works, and defund those programs that do not work. This commitment is furthered by strategic funding opportunities from the Social Innovation Fund under the Corporation for National and Community Service, and potential solutions like pay for success (PFS).

See the event recording here, and MBK’s 2016 progress report here