August 1, 2015
Contact: Ashley Simmons, Office of the Mayor   
704-336-3438 or 704-614-9116                                                       
CHARLOTTE - Mayor Dan Clodfelter joined in a community forum on My Brother’s Keeper Charlotte today in hopes of educating the public on the goals of the initiative and how they can be accomplished by better connecting agencies that are doing the work.
Clodfelter shared a letter from a grandmother who had inquired about the My Brother’s Keeper and how she could be connected with resources for her grandmother.
“We need help, after reading about My Brother’s Keeper, initiative I’m praying that you can steer us in a direction that will be conducive to helping us get this child the help he needs.” read Clodfelter. “This is why we are here. I’m proud of everyone working toward the goals of My Brother’s Keeper. I’m proud of you, Charlotte.”
Among those participating in the dialogue, Dr. Ivory Toldson, Deputy Director of White House HBCU’s initiative as well as Dr. Chance Lewis, Director of Urban Education Collaborative.
“The biggest impact of My Brother’s Keeper is empowering local leaders to do the right thing through various partnerships.” said Toldson. “The greatest measure of success is number of communities who are mobilizing around the issues.”
Saturday’s event featured a panel discussion including Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) and Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Ann Clark. During the discussion, information was shared about the MBK CLT local action plan, and the work that is already occurring in the community to address two goals: ensuring all children read at grade level by 3rd grade, and ensuring all youth out of school are employed.
Dr. Betty Howell Gray, director of the North Carolina affiliates of the National Alliance of Black School Educators said collaboration will be key to the solutions that will combat school dropouts, dismantle the prison pipeline and increase employment for African-American students and adults.
“We are excited that we have all of these organizations coming together, because we can’t do it alone,” said Howell-Gray. “We are doing great things, and the partnership is very powerful. It’s great to have so many agencies involved and doing the work.”
Clodfelter cited examples such as the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance, the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP), and other programs throughout the city.  Members of the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance held a resource fair during the event as an opportunity to share information and network with one another.
“The underlying notion of MBK CLT is that well-informed people, working together in an effective process, can make a profound difference in the lives of Charlotte’s youngest citizens,” said Clodfelter. “Through empowerment, accountability and collaboration, together MBK CLT partners will build a healthier, supportive community for young people while building stronger more positive relationships among each other that cross racial, geographic, interest group and ideological lines.”