December 2018
Dear MBK Community,

At the December meeting of the Board of Regents, New York State Education Department (NYSED) staff provided an update to the Board on the New York State My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative. At the meeting, we were pleased to announce that NYSED has been invited to the MBK Alliance National Summit in 2019. The summit will bring together the growing network of MBK communities, elected officials, cross-sector leaders, young men of color, and the organizations working hard to help them achieve their dreams. NYSED is expected to make a presentation at the summit to highlight the work of MBK in New York State.

New York State's attendees will join more than 130 MBK communities from across the country and Puerto Rico to connect, share, and learn about ways to improve life opportunities for boys and young men of color.

Thank you for reading!

We wish you a joyous holiday season and all the best in the new year. 
My Brother's Keeper Community Networks

The New York State My Brother's Keeper Community Network includes more than 20 member communities that have joined the growing initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. To join the MBK Community Network, communities (cities, counties, and Tribal Nations) who accept the NYSMBK Community Challenge should work with community leaders, educators, business leaders, and youth development experts and contact NYSED. After officially accepting the Challenge, a community gains the support of NYSED's Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement Services to help build a community initiative and develop a local MBK action plan. Communities then follow a set of other steps to solidify their spot in the MBK Community Networks.
MBK Community Network Spotlight: White Plains

Honorees at the White Plains second anniversary celebration, Executive Director of the White Plains Youth Bureau Frank Williams, Jr. and NYSED Director of Family and Community Engagement Dr. Don-Lee Applyrs
The city of White Plains recently celebrated its second anniversary of becoming an MBK community. Community members were honored for their unwavering commitment to the boys and young men of color in White Plains. The keynote speaker at the event was former NFL running back for the Cleveland Browns, William Green. Green spoke about the difference between vision and sight as it relates to goal setting. He specified that when we only have sight, we can only see the limitations that we place on ourselves, but when we have vision, we can see the full picture. Vision allows us to see beyond our circumstances and overcome barriers.

MBK Community Network Spotlight: Yonkers

Regent Reyes, Yonkers Superintendent Quezada, and Regent Young
Regent Young and Regent Reyes recently participated in the Yonkers Basics Lower Hudson Valley convening. The Yonkers Basics is modeled on The Boston Basics, a set of five easy and nurturing practices that stimulate brain growth in children from birth to age 3. The Boston Basics content was developed by the Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) at Harvard University. Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson, Director of AGI and a New York State MBK Blue Ribbon Committee member, was also in attendance.

My Brother's Keeper Challenge Grant

The purpose of the  My Brother's Keeper Challenge Grant is to incentivize and support school districts to develop and execute coherent cradle-to-college strategies aimed at improving the life outcomes for boys and young men of color.
Challenge Spotlight: Queens

Participants at the Queens North MBK Student Advisory Meeting
Students, parents, advisors, and principals from District 24-Queens Village, District 25-Whitestone, District 26-Bayside, and District 30-LIC recently participated in the MBK Student Advisory Meeting at Queens North High School. Over 30 young men came together to meet their fellow MBK brothers from different schools and share their goals and aspirations for MBK and beyond. Queens North Superintendent Elaine Lindsey and Field Support Liaison Abiodun Rashaun Banjo were in attendance.
Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) II

The purpose of TOC II is to increase the rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. TOC II programs incorporate strategies for teacher retention and best practice, such as mentors for new teachers and differentiated instructional techniques.
TOC II Spotlight: SUNY Old Westbury

Regent Young vists with educators and students at SUNY Old Westbury
Regent Young recently visited SUNY Old Westbury where he met with Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, SUNY Old Westbury President; School of Education Dean, Nancy Brown; faculty; and TOC II interns. Faculty exchanged ideas with Regent Young on how culturally responsive teaching is impacting teacher preparatory programs and how to better prepare future teacher leaders. Regent Young then met with students, gave a seminar detailing his path to becoming a member of the Board of Regents, and answered many insightful questions from the students about diversity, leadership, and motivation. Regent Young also met with the Dean's Advisory Council, composed of exceptional TOC II interns, and had the opportunity to hear about their TOC II experiences.

Family and Community Engagement Program (FCEP)

The purpose of the FCEP is to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color by developing and sustaining effective relationships with families in order to achieve student success.
FCEP Spotlight: Newburgh

Principal Kafele speaking to MBK Scholars in Newburgh
Renowned speaker and school principal Baruti Kafele recently spoke with MBK scholars at  Balmville Elementary School and South Middle School in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. Principal Kafele discussed the five ingredients for success:
  • Purpose,
  • Belief in Self,
  • Obligation,
  • Determination, and
  • Vision.
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 State.
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 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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