Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

My Brother’s Keeper Detroit

Supporting boys and young men of color so that they connect to and thrive in Detroit’s new economy.

My Brother’s Keeper is a nationwide initiative that launched in 2014 when President Obama asked communities across the country to take up the charge of closing opportunity gaps for boys and men of color. The Skillman Foundation, City of Detroit, and hundreds of local leaders came together to form MBK Detroit, setting five goals to ensure boys and young men of color were prepared for and connected to opportunity in Detroit:

All boys of color enter school cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally ready

  1. Increase the number of eligible boys of color enrolled in high-quality early childhood programs
  2. Increase neighborhood-based parent and family engagement in early literacy development
  3. Remove health-related barriers to learning

All boys of color are present, participating, and progressing in school

  1. Reduce suspensions and expulsions of boys of color and eliminate chronic absenteeism
  2. Foster cultural and community competence among teachers and school administrators
  3. Reduce violent crime committed by and on young people so that young people feel safe in their neighborhoods and getting to and from school
  4. Strengthen and scale mentorship opportunities and high-quality youth development opportunities for young boys of color

All young men of color are prepared for career success 

  1. Increase career exposure and workplace experiences
  2. Establish and strengthen higher education and career pathways
  3. Ensure that young men of color have the knowledge and confidence to manage, protect and grow their assets

All men of color are present, participating, and progressing in the new economy

  1. Ensure that Black and Hispanic men are increasingly employed in high-growth industries, encouraging corporations to advance inclusive talent strategies
  2. Accelerate the growth of businesses owned by Black and Hispanic males

All boys and men of color are supported in a community that is rapidly building capacity

  1. Create positive community narrative around young men of color
  2. Create an informed network that enables city government and community stakeholders to use best practices around the My Brother’s Keeper Detroit initiative

My Brother’s Keeper Detroit Innovation Challenge

A signature project, the MBK Detroit Innovation Challenge, was developed in 2016 by the Skillman Foundation and Campaign for Black Male Achievement. The Challenge called upon community members to put forth their ideas to increase opportunities for black and brown boys. Nearly 500 submissions were received. Twenty teams spent the summer of 2016 testing their ideas with the help of training, support and $5,000 in funding. In September, the teams presented their learnings and plans for their organization’s future to community members and a panel of judges. Six teams were awarded $50,000 and ongoing training to scale their work. Final awardees from the 2016-17 MBK Innovation Challenge were featured at six-week-long Capstone Expo in downtown Detroit in the fall of 2017.

We are excited to announce the launch of the next iteration of the Challenge in Spring 2018. In addition to a My Brother’s Keeper track for young men of color, there will also be My Sister’s Keeper track focusing on young women of color in the city.