Dear MBK Community,

I want to give a sincere thank you to each  and eve ry one of the nearly 1,000  participants at our New York State MBK Symposium on May 31 st . This event remains something I look forward to because it's always rewarding seeing the enthusiasm and energy generated by our dedicated attendees and knowledgeable presenters. What follows are direct quotes from participants  who filled out the evaluation form.

"I loved coming to this Symposium. It had a lot of energy and a lot of inspiration."

"Thank you so much to the MBK team for your hard work. It was a powerful day."

On behalf of the New York State Board of Regents and all of the staff at the State Education Department, we thank you for your ongoing work to ensure that all youth have the opportunity to succeed. 


Dr. Anael Alston
Assistant Commissioner
Office of Access, Equity and Community Engagement Services

New York State My Brother's Keeper Symposium

The New York State Education Department (NYSED)  hosted the  2019 New York State My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Symposium  on Friday, May 31st in Albany. Nearly 1,000 students, parents, educational leaders, and citizens from across New York State gathered to hear about the impact of MBK, gain valuable knowledge, and get motivated to implement new strategies in their communities to  address issues impacting boys and young men of color. The event included nationally renowned speakers, student-led panels, workshops, and a college resource fair. Keep reading to see highlights from the Symposium!

This year's theme was Building Pipelines to Opportunity, which represents the NYSED's mission to ensure that all students have equal access to a high-quality education from elementary years through post-secondary. Through MBK, the state works to eliminate opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color so that all students can reach their full potential. 
NYSED Announces 2019 Class of My Brother's Keeper Fellows

At the 2019 Symposium, NYSED named the second class of the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Fellows. The MBK Fellows will be provided with a mentor from the NYSMBK Community Network and will gain authentic leadership development opportunities at school, community, and state levels. 

Recently inducted 2019 MBK Fellows
This year's class features 67 fellows - nearly  double the number of last year's  induc tees - fr om 22 New York State school districts. The Fellows will serve on a statewide MBK Fellows Workgroup, which allows them to provide insightful input on the creation and implementation of a statewide MBK Mentoring Network. In addition to serving on the  Workgroup, each of the Fellows will develop and implement a service project that reflects MBK's mission.    

Main Stage Highlights

Regent Lester W. Young
Chancellor Betty A. Rosa
Commissioner MaryEllen Elia
Dr. Don-Lee 

Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa, Regent Lester W. Young, Jr., Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, and Director of Family and Community Engagement Dr. Don-Lee Applyrs spoke as part of the event's Welcome Session. Assistant Commissioner Dr. Anael Alston spoke about NYSMBK accomplishments and the path forward, and Dr. Alfonso Wyatt moderated a panel of MBK Fellows. 

We were also honored to have Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie join us and deliver remarks. 

 "We in  New York realize that young men and boys of color are still lagging behind in most
measures of achievement," he said, "By investing in their futures through programming like that of My Brother's Keeper, we are dismantling the often-told narrative of underachievement faced by boys and men of color." We are grateful for Speaker Heastie and his colleagues for their 
continued support of MBK. 

ImageThink's graphic recorders created powerful graphic representations of the speeches to preserve the information and discussions that were provided. Click the images below to view larger versions. 

We were excited to have Michael Smith, Director of Youth Opportunity Programs at the Obama Foundation and Executive Director of the My Brother's Keeper Alliance as our keynote speaker! 

Assistant Commissioner Dr. Anael Alston spoke about the accomplishments of MBK and vision to raise the achievement bar of MBK communities.

The East Ramapo Central School District marching band and choir energized participants with their lively performances!

MBK Fellows Student Panel

The MBK Fellows Student Panel titled, "Lessons Learned, Lessons Applied," was moderated by Dr. Alfonso Wyatt. MBK Fellows expressed how the program has influenced them and answered questions from the audience.

Dr. Alfonso Wyatt moderated the MBK Fellows panel discussion.

De'Andre Brown, Yonkers Middle High School
Angel Garcia, International School for Liberal Arts 

Patrick Saint Ange, Ossining High School
Anthony Harrison, Ramapo High School
Breakout Sessions Highlights

Cornelius Minor discussed modern racism and its role in school settings. He asked participants to develop tools to identify what practices aren't working and how to change them.

Dr. Ronald Ferguson, Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, taught participants about the five parenting principles, called "The Basics," which are designed to help close the achievement gap that begins in childhood.
Principal, celebrated educator, and author, Baruti Kafele, engaged leaders in questioning the efficacy of their leadership and offered wisdom on improving their work. He also presented a workshop for educators on inspiring educational excellence and investing in student success.

Author and consultant, Marlon Rice, offered advice to students on improving verbal and nonverbal communication skills to help create and maintain healthy relationships. 
PLC Associates, a consultancy that helps organizations achieve their goals and reach optimal performance, presented findings on how ten high schools and two districts graduate young men of color above the New York State average.

Pipeline to Opportunities Fair 

The Pipeline to Opportunities Fair provided students with the opportunity to meet professionals from across New York State who are helping change the lives of youth by ensuring that they have access to quality higher education. Students have the chance to gather resources and speak with representatives from colleges, universities, and organizations. 

Pipeline to Opportunities Fair Spotlight: Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The State University of New York's Educational Opportunity Program makes  college accessible to promising students  who may have not otherwise been admitted. The program provides  resources such as academic support and financial aid to help economically and historically disadvantaged students get accepted into college and graduate.  EOP directors, Latimah Clark & Tyler  Wheelock of SUNY Morrisville, Drew Spriggs & Manny Cruz of SUNY Oswego, and Maritza Martinez of SUNY Albany were in attendance, answering questions from college-bound students. 

Senegal Mabry Reflects on MBK Rising!

which took place earlier this
year. Community members, elected officials, and 
fellow  you ng leaders g athered at MBK  Rising! to work on changing the lives  of boys and young men of color. A full-time student at Binghamton University and member of the national My Brother's Keeper Alliance Advisory Council, Mabry organized the youth programming at the event, which featured 20 young leaders who spoke to their peers about the importance of their leadership. The goal was to have participants analyze the 
needs of their communities and create plans to solve the issues, which they could then implement. Leaders left feeling revitalized in their  commitment to improving the lives of children and youth.

Learn More

Find out more about New York State's My Brother's Keeper initiative by visiting our  MBK website, which provides details about the grants mentioned in this newsletter. The website also includes sharable videos about MBK, featuring young men of color from New York.
Join the Conversation

If your school or community would like to share a story to include in a future edition of this newsletter, please email photos and news items to  [email protected]. Similarly, if you are hosting an upcoming event, please let us know. We will add it to our calendar and help you get the word out!

Don't forget to follow us on  TwitterFacebook, and  LinkedIn and tag us in your posts so we can follow you and share your success stories. Be sure to use the #NYSMBK hashtag!

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