February 5, 2020
Columbus, OH –
The Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to authorize an agreement between Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services and the Columbus Department of Neighborhoods to support My Brother’s Keeper Village initiatives.
Under the new partnership, FCDJFS is providing $100,000 in programmatic and financial support to expand MBK services throughout the Franklin County.
“We know that boys and young men of color face unique challenges. They’re challenges rooted in racism and systemic inequity – and our entire community bears the cost of inaction,” FCDJFS Director Joy Bivens said. “We’re grateful to have Commissioners and partners at the City of Columbus who recognize that we must work with intentionality to bridge these persistent achievement gaps and ensure all young men of color across Franklin County can recognize their potential.”
Last October, FCDJFS provided support for MBK’s Statewide Convening and will provide $20,000 to support a countywide listening tour set to get underway this year. In addition, FCDJFS is providing matching funding to support grants awarded to the Columbus Urban League, Community Refugee Immigration Services and the African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative. Together, the organizations will provide mentoring and additional supports for approximately 175 boys and young men of color.
Carla Williams-Scott, Director of the City of Columbus Department of Neighborhoods stated that, “This new partnership is an important step forward in our collective commitment to addressing the disparities facing boys and young men of color in central Ohio. By working together, we will help more young men achieve success in the classroom and be prepared for successful careers.”
By backing MBK initiatives, FCDJFS is supporting goal No. 11 of the Commissioners’ Rise Together Blueprint,
which is to increase the number of students at or near the poverty level experiencing academic success.
My Brother’s Keeper was launched by in 2014 by President Barack Obama as a call to action to address the persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color, and to ensure all young people can reach their full potential. Franklin County has supported the mission of MBK since its inception and in 2018 its I Am My Brother’s Keeper pilot program was recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.
The Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services provides timely public assistance benefits and builds community partnership through inclusion, responsiveness and innovation.