Program Success Magazine February 2021 - Page 31

Program Success 31 February 2021
Photo : Susan Watts ( AP )

My Brother ’ s Keeper Alliance , ESPN Launch Mentorship Program for Boys and Young Men of Color

By Jay Connor Guest Columnist
The value of mentorship can never be understated , as it imparts invaluable guidance , support , and expertise upon mentees eager to conquer the obstacles that lay before them . To that end , My Brother ’ s Keeper Alliance is in the business of building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color . And to ensure that they continue to feel valued and are presented with clear pathways to opportunity , MBK Alliance is partnering with ESPN for a new mentorship program .
This mentorship program will focus on supporting youth of color in Los Angeles , New York City and the District of Columbia . Adult mentors will provide career counseling advice , provide educational guidance , and encourage participants to define their aspirations and map out the future they envision for themselves while also serving as role models . The Undefeated , ESPN ’ s award-winning platform for exploring the intersections of race , sports and culture , will serve as a community hub to amplify compelling storytelling about the program .
“ We ’ ve had the privilege to work with MBK Alliance in the past and welcome the opportunity to do so again , specifically supporting Black communities who have been disproportionately impacted by social injustices and racial inequality ,” Kevin Martinez , vice president of ESPN corporate citizenship , said in a statement provided to The Root . “ The Walt Disney Company is committed to using more of our resources to create access and opportunity for underrepresented youth and ESPN is proud to support that ongoing effort .” The NBA will also be involved in this endeavor , as the Los Angeles Clippers , Los Angeles Lakers , Washington Wizards , and Brooklyn Nets will appoint athletes , coaches and employees to help celebrate and inspire participants of the program .
“ The NBA believes deeply in the power of mentoring , and we are excited to support this new effort launched by ESPN and the Obama Foundation ’ s My Brother ’ s Keeper Alliance ,” Todd Jacobson , NBA senior vice president of social responsibility , said in a statement to The Root . “ With so many young people facing real challenges and continued disruptions to their support systems , programs that offer handson mentoring are more important than ever and we are proud that NBA teams are collaborating on this effort to make an impact locally .”