My Brother's Keeper Houston:

Inform, Engage, and Inspire

My Brother's Keeper Houston Update: April 8, 2016

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For a more linear view, here are the MBK Houston updates in a PDF:

Daycares in the MBK Feeder Patterns & Texas Rising Star

The Inclusionary Zoning Affordable Housing Program (IZ) met with Collaborative for Children (CFC) last week to discuss emphasizing the need for daycares in the MBK feeder patterns to apply for Texas Rising Star (TRS). Some of the outcomes of the meeting include:

  • Houston Health Department (HHD) personnel will actively promote TRS and help with the application process
  • Daycare personnel that attend HHD trainings will receive credit toward TRS certification
  • HHD personnel will review any outstanding deficiencies, as TRS status cannot be initiated if they have a finding within the year. HHD personnel will facilitate meetings with childcare licensing to develop a corrective action plan.
  • HHD and CFC will develop external signage to acknowledge and help parents understand the importance of selecting schools that are TRS certified.

MBK Houston is excited to see these efforts in action.

Attention Black Farmers (National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program Details)

FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Foundation has established a scholarship program to assist African American farmers, their dependent children and other African American students who plan to continue their education in college or vocational school programs.

The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America. Scholarship Management Services is the nation's largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin.

ONLY 100 applications will be accepted. The application site will close on May 2, 2016, or when 100 applications have been received, whichever occurs first.

For more information on eligibility, check out this link:

Engage Stakeholders (Save the Date)

The Houston Health Department and its partners are bringing AIM to your neighborhoods. MBK Houston AIM will be coming to the neighborhoods of Kashmere, Wheatley, and Scarborough from Wednesday, May 4th, until Saturday, May 9th.

AIM stands for:

A: Assessment

Gather information about the community and available resources from people living and working there. Identify and invite partners to join the effort.

I: Intervention

Walk door to door to provide information about available programs and services, find out and respond to immediate needs of residents identified through community touch.

M: Mobilization

Develop and implement ongoing strategies to address issues identified through the assessment and intervention phases.

MBK Youth Justice Council

One of the key components of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative is MBK Milestone 6: Reducing Crime and Violence and Providing a Second Chance. This milestone is pivotal because of the disproportionate involvement of young men of color in violent crime and the criminal justice system. As an extension of the Milestone 6 workgroup, leaders from education, law enforcement, juvenile justice, social services, the judicial system and others were convened at the Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center on March 31, 2016 for the first MBK Youth Justice Council meeting. The ultimate goal of the council is to explore community and policy-level strategies that are responsive to the needs of the respective MBK feeder pattern areas (Kashmere, Scarborough, and Wheatley).

Attendees were provided an overview of youth violence in the MBK Feeder Patterns. Presentations on innovative practices were provided by American Institutes for Research (Violence Prevention efforts in Louisville and St. Louis), Children’s Defense Fund (Restorative Justice) and the Assistant D.A.’s Office (Rethinking Criminal Justice: Promising Diversion Programs). An update on the MBK Early Warning System and System of Care model was given which addresses a few of the initial workgroup recommendations. Additionally, youth perspective was provided by LaDrevine Thomas, who spoke on his first-hand experience with the “school-to-prison pipeline” and the difficulties faced by his peers.

The next steps of the council will include assembling an inventory of organizations and programs with a stake in violence prevention and youth justice and taking a more comprehensive look at data, both qualitative and quantitative, specific to the MBK feeder patterns communities. We look forward to continued collaboration and the growth of strategies that can improve safety and assure adequate second-chance opportunities for our youth.

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MBK Principal Update Webinar #1

In case you missed the webinar on Monday, April 4th, there is now a recording online on YouTube and on our website:

It is password protected so please use mbkhoumovement when gaining access.

Website Refresh:

As you may have noticed, the MBK Houston website was temporarily down for site maintenance. After listening to many users' concerns, the website is now back online and MBK Houston hopes that your user experience will be more enhanced than before. Here are some of the new updates to check out:

  • Navigation Bar
    The old design of the website was a one page scroll through. Due to the amount of information that MBK Houston would like to share with its stakeholders and partners, the lack of a navigation bar made it difficult for site visitors to get what they needed. If you hover your cursor over any of the titles at the top, you will see that some of them include a drop down menu that will allow you to find what you are searching for with ease.
  • Reports
    There is now a centralized location for all of MBK Houston's reports, including a community update that has been sent to the White House.
  • Our Partners Listing
    MBK Houston would not be able to do any of the work that it is doing in the community without the support of partners. There is now a listing of all the great organizations that have gotten together to support the movement. Please inform MBK Houston if your organization is currently not listed, as the appropriate changes will be made.
  • Who is Involved?
    MBK Houston wanted to recognize the specific individuals that have participated and are still participating in the many teams that have contributed their time and effort in providing Houston's youth with a brighter future.
  • Meet the MBK Houston Team
    The MBK Houston team have created short bios to introduce themselves to everyone.
  • Youth Advisory Council - About Us
    The MBK Houston Youth Advisory Council has been up and running for the past few months and there is now a picture gallery of all the enriching activities they have been participating in online. The application for the council will be located on this page once registration opens for the next calendar year.
  • Youth Advisory Council - Events
    An events' calendar has been created for the council, detailing their bi-weekly meeting information in addition to workshops and events.
  • Webinars
    MBK Principal Update Webinars will all be posted here (recordings). MBK Houston has conducted their first webinar this past Monday, April 4, 2016. Please feel free to watch the webinar if you were unable to make it to the live recording. It is password protected but please use: mbkhoumovement and you will immediately be granted access.
  • Events
    A general events' calendar has been created for all MBK Houston related events, hosted by both external organizations or by MBK Houston. The team hopes to populate the calendar as soon as possible. As of right now, only events in July 2016 have been added onto the calendar.
  • Contact Us
    If you have any questions, concerns, or may want to be a partner, there is now a contact form that can be easily filled out. The MBK Houston team will try to answer you in a timely manner.
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"Restorative Justice 360: Strengthening Our Communities" Conference

MBK Houston would like to pass along this information on the “Restorative Justice 360: Strengthening Our Communities” conference. This conference, taking place on April 30th, will include but is not limited to the following sessions:

  • Circles 101
  • Transitioning a Large Urban High School Toward Restorative Practices
  • Building a Restorative School from the Ground Up
  • The Praxeum: Making in School Suspension Restorative
  • Community Organizing for Restorative Justice

Restorative Practices are aligned with MBK Milestone 6: Reducing Crime and Violence and Providing a Second Chance. The concept of Restorative Justice is gaining traction as an alternative to more punitive disciplinary measures as it seeks to restore harm to all parties involved. We encourage all in our network to consider this conference as a means of professional and personal development. Additionally, students under the age of 18 can attend free of charge. In fact, some of Dr. Anita Wadhwa’s (Spring Branch ISD Restorative Justice Coordinator) students will help lead a training on Restorative Circles.

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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee: 2016 Congressional Art Competition

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Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Artistic Discovery Contest is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation, as well as in my congressional district.

The Artistic Discovery Contest is a chance for students to showcase their artistic talents. All high schools in the district are encouraged to participate. The winner will be chosen by a panel of art experts and community leaders. When the winning artist is chosen, his or her artwork is displayed in the U.S. Capitol. In June, Congress will host a reception in Washington for winners from across the country. The winner will receive two round trip tickets to Washington D.C. to attend the reception.

Guidelines for the contest are listed below. Interested 9th – 12th grade students are encouraged to contact their principal, guidance counselor or art teacher. School staff and faculty should call my Houston Office for more information (713) 655-0050.

For the 2016 Congressional Arts Competition, participating schools are reminded that all entries must be received by Thursday, April 28, 2016, and may be submitted at the Downtown District office. Address: 1919 Smith Street Ste. 1180 Houston Texas 77002.

  • Deadline for artwork is Thursday, April 28, 2016 by 5:00pm CST
  • Judging of artwork will be Tuesday, May 3, 2016
  • Winner will be contacted Tuesday, May 3, 2016 by 5:00pm CST

MBK Houston looks forward to seeing the great talent that resides in the 18th Congressional District of Texas! To view all of 2015 winners across the country, please click the link:

Past winners with Sheila Jackson Lee: