November 2018
Dear MBK Community,

This month, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) hosted a day of professional development for My Brother's Keeper grant-funded programs in Albany. Nearly 140 attendees heard from dynamic presenters and experts on the purpose of the MBK initiative. National literacy expert and author Pam Allyn began the morning with an inspiring keynote speech, which was followed by several informative breakout sessions. We were also happy to host Shyheim Snead from the national My Brother's Keeper Alliance, who was able to join our training day and experience our passion.

Dr. Don-Lee Applyrs and Shyheim Snead

MBK training attendees

NYSED Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement Services Staff

In this edition of "Changing the Narrative," we spotlight more great MBK programs across the state. If your school or community would like to share a story with us, please email photos and news items to Similarly, if you are hosting an upcoming event, please let us know. We will add it to our calendar and help you get the word out!

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and tag us in your posts so we can follow you and share your success stories!

Finally, if you know someone who might be interested in our MBK updates, be sure they know how to subscribe to our mailing list. Thank you for helping us spread the word!
My Brother's Keeper Community Networks

The New York State My Brother's Keeper Community Network includes more than 20 member communities that have joined the growing initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color. To join the MBK Community Network, communities (cities, counties, and Tribal Nations) who accept the NYSMBK Community Challenge should work with community leaders, educators, business leaders, and youth development experts and contact NYSED. After officially accepting the Challenge, a community gains the support of NYSED's Office of Access, Equity, and Community Engagement Services to help build a community initiative and develop a local MBK action plan. Communities then follow a set of other steps to solidify their spot in the MBK Community Networks.
MBK Community Network Spotlight: Yonkers

From left to right:
Greg Joyner, De'Andre Brown, Dennis Richmond, Mike Spano, and Carlos Garcia
This month, Yonkers, NY was selected as one of 10 National Impact Communities by the national MBK Alliance. The Nepperhan Community Center, part of Yonkers MBK, is a grant winner of this national competition to identify and invest in communities that are making steady progress to substantially improve the lives of boys and young men of color.

In October, Carlos Garcia of NYSED's Office of Family and Community Engagement visited the Nepperhan Community Center and highlighted the lead role that Yonkers has played in New York State's MBK initiative. Yonkers School District Superintendent, Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, provides leadership and acts as the liaison for the superintendents of MBK districts in the Lower Hudson Valley MBK Alliance. Also in attendance at the visit were Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano; members of the Yonkers Fire Department; the Associate Commissioner for the County Department of Correction; Yonkers MBK program coordinator Greg Joyner; NYS MBK Yonkers Fellow De'Andre Brown, and TOC member Dennis Richmond.

Congratulations to the Nepperhan Community Center and the entire Yonkers MBK community for achieving this great honor!
MBK Community Network Spotlight: Wayne County

Rev. Dr. Bryant T. Marks speaks at Wayne County convening
Wayne County recently hosted its first MBK convening. Rev. Dr. Bryant T. Marks, Sr., Chief Equity Officer & Principal Trainer for the National Training Institute on Race & Equity (NTIRE) and Psychology Professor at Morehouse College, was the keynote presenter. His presentation, The Hidden Biases of Good People: Implications for Wayne County, NY My Brother's Keeper Initiative, gave a deep dive into implicit bias. During his presentation, Dr. Marks said that we all have implicit biases, even toward our own group, but the impact of our biases on others is influenced by the roles we play in society.

The convening included breakout sessions hosted by various MBK supporters. Topics included culturally responsive education, restorative practices, anti-racism plans, youth court, linking local efforts, and using equity data in the region to provide programming for students.
MBK Community Network Spotlight: Lower Hudson Valley

Students from Saunders High School in Yonkers
Last month, the Lower Hudson Valley MBK Alliance hosted its first Youth Leadership Summit, A Call To Action, in Westchester. Featured speaker Bishop W. Darin Moore, presiding Prelate for the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, gave a phenomenal presentation. Actor and comedian Mike Epps also attended the summit, in addition to more than 800 young men from 10 Lower Hudson Valley school districts.

Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) II

The purpose of TOC II is to increase the rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. TOC II programs incorporate strategies for teacher retention and best practice, such as mentors for new teachers and differentiated instructional techniques.
TOC II Spotlight: SUNY Oswego

Regent Young speaking with TOC II students at SUNY Oswego

Students pictured: Kasey Fuller, Maritza Rhodes, and Nyazhia Rhodes
This fall, Regent Young participated in a TOC II meeting at SUNY Oswego. The first item on the agenda was a morning check-in, which provides a safe space for the TOC II scholars to share and talk about impactful experiences they had during the week, allowing reflection on the progression of their goals.

After the morning check-in, Regent Young shared stories about his own educational experiences as a young man, then talked about his career as an educator, administrator, and member of the New York State Board of Regents. Regent Young also shared how the My Brother's Keeper initiative began under former President Barack Obama. Students gained insight into the importance of programs like TOC II, how the program aligns with the overall MBK initiative, and how impactful they can be as future educators of color. The students then had the opportunity to ask Regent Young questions and provide him with feedback to take back to the Board of Regents.

SUNY Oswego is also proud to announce that TOC II scholar Ashley Kirkland was selected as the school's 2018 Nancy Zimpher Scholarship recipient. Congratulations!
Family and Community Engagement Program (FCEP)

The purpose of the FCEP is to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color by developing and sustaining effective relationships with families in order to achieve student success.
FCEP Spotlight: Wayne County

Newark Middle School students at the
Rites of Passage event
Wayne County's MBK Program held a three-day Rites of Passage event for sixth graders at Newark Middle School. Topics ranged from racial tension to school life to scheduling to identifying positive role models.

During the event, students learned what to expect now that they are in middle school. Boys were also taught six different ways to tie a tie and were given a dress shirt, a tie, and a book bag filled with supplies.
My Brother's Keeper Native American Program MBKNAP

The purpose of the MBK Native American Program is to increase the academic achievement and college/career readiness of Native American students, with emphasis on boys and young men.
Native American Spotlight: Onondaga Community College

Onondaga Community College hosts Native American College, Trades, and Career Fair
Regent Elizabeth S. Hakanson and Dr. Don-Lee Applyrs, NYSED's new Director of the Office of Family and Community Engagement, along with NYSED Assistant Commissioner Christina Coughlin, attended the New York State MBK Native American College, Trades, and Career Fair at Onondaga Community College in October. At the event, numerous colleges, universities, and trades unions promoted higher education and career opportunities. Approximately 150 Native American students in grades 7-12 attended the event and engaged with more than 30 colleges, universities, and organizations.
Learn More

Find out more about New York State's My Brother's Keeper initiative by visiting our MBK website, which provides details about the grants mentioned in this newsletter. The website also includes sharable videos about MBK, featuring young men of color from New York State.
Join the Conversation

If your school or community would like to share a story to include in a future edition of this newsletter, please email photos and news items to Similarly, if you are hosting an upcoming event, please let us know. We will add it to our calendar and help you get the word out!

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and tag us in your posts so we can follow you and share your success stories. Be sure to use the #NYSMBK hashtag!
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