Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Thursday the city is looking for 100 men to serve as mentors as the city aims to increase participation in the “My Brother’s Keeper” program.
The mentors would work with young boys, ages 6 to 14, who are currently on a waiting list with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta.
Bottoms spoke about the need for mentors with GPB’s Rickey Bevington as part of her monthly interview series.
"It is about improving the outcomes for young men of color,” Bottoms said. “And we are very fortunate in the city of Atlanta that we received an ask from my brother's keeper to re-engage."
Bottoms said she attended a conference in Oakland a few months ago that was heavily focused on energizing cities across the country about renewing their focus on the program.
Former President Barack Obama started The My Brother’s Keeper initiative in 2014.
Previously, Fulton County had taken the charge on the initiative. Bottoms said she isn’t sure why Atlanta wasn’t heavily engaged then, but that will change.
“As the capital city, it’s important we are visible and lead this effort in a way that’s reflective of who we are as a city,” she said.
This is the second program the mayor has launched focused on helping boys of color in the city, coming after Atlanta’s Youth Engagement initiative.
“We all know someone who is living in a single family house or a young boy who just needs the voice of a man to speak with him,” Bottoms said. “There are things my 17-year-old refuses to discuss with me because he says I just wouldn’t understand.”
She said the hundred boys and teens on the waiting list are kids in the city’s community who are just looking for someone who can mentor them.