NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the next phase of New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), including significant new commitments by the City to confront inequality and create opportunity for young men of color. First launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2011, YMI’s programming will align with President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, launching four new programs aimed at increasing literacy in young children, improving graduation rates and workforce readiness, as well as protecting youth from violent crime.
To spearhead the next phase of YMI, Mayor de Blasio named Cyrus Garrett, a veteran of Everytown for Gun Safety and Organizing for America, as its new executive director. The announcement was made at the new Jobs-Plus Center at the Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville, which opened this month and is funded by the Young Men’s Initiative and administered by the NYC Human Resources Administration in partnership with the New York City Housing Authority, Center for Economic Opportunity, and Department of Consumer Affairs. The center expects to serve 1,600 local residents with job placements, training, financial counseling, and a range of supportive services.
YMI works to connect black and Latino young people to opportunities and support that can lead them to success. Black and Hispanic young men have 1.6 times the high school dropout rate of their white peers, and they are 1.3 times more likely to be unemployed and 6 times more likely to have a felony conviction. YMI seeks to address these disparities.
The initial phase of YMI focused on the launch of new programs targeting young men of color. This next phase will focus on overhauling City agencies’ approach to interacting with and serving these populations. City efforts will focus on neighborhoods in central Brooklyn, southeast Queens, northern Manhattan, South Bronx, and the North Shore of Staten Island.
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