RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPER explores the lives and families of boys and young men of color from four programs around the U.S. that are living the principles of the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative, and will simulcast on Discovery Channel and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on Father's Day, Sunday, June 21 at 7PM ET/PT. The film also addresses President Obama's challenge to cities and towns to encourage coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategies for improving the life outcomes of all young people, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they were born. RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPER is directed by Dawn Porter, the filmmaker behind the acclaimed documentary Gideon's Army.

In an interview with President Obama conducted on May 18 from Camden, New Jersey, Mr. Obama shared his own personal experiences as a young man as well as his motivation for and commitment to the My Brother's Keeper initiative. He also discussed the goals of the initiative, which include ensuring all youth complete their post-secondary education and training and are employed once they're out of school.

"As President Obama has made abundantly clear, now more than ever we need to change the narrative in this country around boys and young men of color," said John Hoffman, Executive Vice President of Documentaries and Specials for Discovery Channel. "Dawn Porter's artful storytelling serves as a powerful testament to the vital importance that strong communities, involved families, and dedicated educators all play in ensuring that all of our children have an equal chance at success."

In the film RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPER, Bishop T.D. Jakes tells Discovery Channel, "What I love about being a part of My Brother's Keeper is that it says that no man is disposable, no man is optional, that every life is valuable . . . whenever a child is confronted with high expectations and someone dares to dream of what they can be, it causes wind to get beneath their wings." Other mentors and students featured in the film include Superintendent of Baltimore City Public Schools S. Dallas Dance, B.A.M. supervisor Anthony Bharataji Joplin, 2013 Urban Prep graduate David Peake, Halstead Academy principal Jennifer Mullenex, YouthBuild alumnus Johnny Herber, National Evangelical Coalition President Rev. Gabriel Salguero, Principal of Tarkington School of Excellence Vincent Iturralde, and parent mentor Joe Blanding, Jr., among others. These mentors and students are changing the narrative about young men of color and the results from the programs are undeniable.

RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPER includes the following programs:

Urban Prep Academies operates a network of all-boys public schools including the country's first charter high school for boys. A Chicago-based group, Urban Prep's mission is to provide a high-quality and comprehensive college-preparatory educational experience to young men that results in their graduates succeeding in college. In the last four years, every graduate of Urban Prep has secured admission to a four-year college or university.

Halstead Academy of Arts and Science in Baltimore County fulfills the MBK mission by preparing students for academic success and for life beyond school, as they remain dedicated to creating a culture that fosters and promotes excellence by delivering a comprehensive, quality program that adapts to the needs of students and their families by providing a safe and engaging learning environment with high expectations for all. Currently, African American students at Halstead significantly outperform their peers at comparable schools in both math and reading.

The Yuba/Sutter program of YouthBuild in rural northern CA unleashes the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives, breaking the cycle of poverty with a commitment to work, education, family, and community. At YouthBuild, low-income young people learn construction skills through building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in their neighborhoods and other community assets such as schools, playgrounds, and community centers. 75% of the Yuba/Sutter YouthBuild graduates enroll in college or find meaningful employment.

Youth Guidance's Becoming a Man (B.A.M.) is a dropout- and violence-prevention program for at-risk male students in grades 7-12 that offers in-school programming to develop social-cognitive skills strongly correlated with reductions in violent and anti-social behavior. Participants learn about and practice impulse control, reading social cues and interpreting intentions of others, raising aspirations for the future and developing a sense of personal responsibility and integrity. The after-school sports component reinforces conflict resolution skills and the social and emotional learning objectives of the in-school curriculum.

RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPER is produced by Discovery Studios for Discovery Channel where John Hoffman is executive producer with Alexandra Moss as supervising producer. The film is directed and produced for Discovery Studios by Dawn Porter with James Barrat as producer. Mike Masland serves as executive producer.


Next Story