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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rise: The Promise of My Brother's Keeper is a documentary that highlights the principles and effects of President Obama's My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative. It contains very positive themes about mentoring, educating, and valuing underserved boys and young men of color throughout America. There are references to violent events, teen alcoholism, and drugs, but these are offered in the context of rising above them.
What's the story?
RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPER is a documentary about underprivileged boys and young men from African-American, Latino, and Native American communities who participate in programs based on President Barack Obama's My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative. Kids, parents, teachers, and community organizers from Urban Prep Academy in Detroit; Becoming a Man Youth Guidance program in Chicago; the Youthbuild training program in Yuba City, California; and Halstead Academy, located on the outskirts of Baltimore, discuss how their lives and goals have changed thanks to the commitment to educate, train, and treat boys and young men from their early years until adulthood. From offering them better education and training programs to teaching them how to cope with the difficult circumstances around them, it shows how communities can come together to help underserved males in America get a better start in life, tap in to their potential, and help them realize that they matter.
Is it any good?
The messages this inspiring documentary offers are extremely positive and go far beyond any political agenda. It takes a look at some of the strategies that community organizers, churches, and schools are employing to improve the futures of boys and young men whose chances for success are threatened by urban violence, poverty, and low self-esteem. It also highlights how important it is to break down existing stereotypes about these kids and to change the attitudes people have about their value to society.
It can feel a little heavy-handed at times, especially when President Obama highlights the importance of the initiative he created. But Rise: The Promise of My Brother's Keeper reminds us that we, as a country, have to be willing to invest in all our youth, while placing high expectations on them, to build a better nation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why President Obama started the MBK initiative. What circumstances prevent many African-American, Latino, and Native American boys from getting a good education or finding a job? How can mentoring and placing high expectations on these boys help them? What other things can communities do to help these boys reach their full potential?
Families can talk about volunteering. What are some ways you can help out in your own community?
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