The Blueprint

MBK Houston Movement

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Houston's youth face many challenges in preparing for productive adulthood. This is particularly true for young men of color. Many indicators show that this group lags behind others on measures such as high school graduation rates, household income, employment and neighborhood safety. This group is also more likely to have encounters with law enforcement and the justice system.

The My Brother's Keeper Houston (MBK) movement aims to address these inequitable conditions faced by youth, particularly boys and young men of color. MBK originated from the White House in 2014 by Former President Barack Obama. Recognizing the inequitable conditions that boys and young men of color face throughout their lifetime, a coordinated national initiative was launched and the movement in Houston began.

The MBK Alliance has been formed to support Houston and over 250 jurisdication to continue these efforts and with the support of Barack Obama, we will see the future for our youth become brighter. To learn more about the MBK Alliance, visit:

MBK Houston and Comcast Newsmaker Noel A Pinnock 3 19 2017

MBK Houston Milestone Activity Snapshots

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MBK Houston Basics Campaign - Sneak Peek

In collaboration with a number of great partners, the Houston Basics Campaign will be launching soon. We will highlight a different video from the Houston Basics campaign each month. We are excited about the widespread dissemination of these important tips!

2. MBK Houston Basics: Talk, Sing, Point - YouTube
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Groomed for Literacy - Tiny Library Paint Party

Groomed for Literacy, a partnership between Houston Public Library, Put it in a Book Foundation, Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation and MBK Houston aims to address the literacy gap for boys and young men of color by increasing access to books and developing champions for literacy in the community.

The Groomed for Literacy partners held a Paint Party on April 7th at the Harris County Department of Education building on Irvington. Volunteers helped paint and reassemble the tiny libraries to be placed in participating barber shops throughout Houston. For more info, please visit

*Call to Action* Groomed for Literacy - Barbers and Barbershop Owners

An info session will be hosted on Monday, April 24 from 10 AM-12PM at the Kashmere Multi-Service Center for barbers and barbershop owners to learn more about Groomed for Literacy and have questions answered. Interested parties can visit to sign up. We invite you to spread the word through your networks as well.
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XY Zone Students at Scarborough High School Host "Custodial and Food Service Staff Appreciation Day"

As part of the Communities in Schools XY-Zone activities, the young men craft a service project in their schools and/or community. Please find below a brief blurb on this semester's project provided by Alejandro Cubria, Student Support Specialist and Facilitator of XY-Zone at Scarborough High School.

Every year the boys of the XY-Zone vote on a community service project they want to organize. The options for serving our community are vast, but they quickly agreed that the custodial and cafeteria staff at our school was the best place to start. Not only do our cafeteria and custodial staff work long hours to make sure we have a clean school and a decent meal, but they do so with a smile every day.

The XY-Zone boys chose to celebrate our cafeteria and custodial staff for all of their hard work with a pasta buffet from Olive Garden. In preparation for the luncheon, the boys also coordinated an intensive research mission to get to know our fellow Spartans. They went around campus getting to know our staff. We then gathered our intel and made posters celebrating some of the brightest shining stars in our community. Our results are posted on the bulletin board in the Cafeteria, please take a moment to read about our staff members.

Finally, our young men put their hair nets and gloves on and served a wonderful lunch to give back to our custodial and cafeteria staff.

The boys of the XY-Zone have had a great year working together to form a team of brothers, and we hope that this celebration helps continue to unite us as Spartans.

Grand Slam for Youth Baseball Scholarship Announcement (Applications Now Being Accepted)

In 2005, Minute Maid and the Houston Astros announced the Minute Maid Grand Slam For Youth Baseball (MMGSFYB) Scholarship Program to assist greater Houston-area high school senior boys and girls with college expenses. Since the scholarship program's inception MMGSYB has awarded more than 261 scholarships and grants to Houston area high school seniors. 103 of these scholarship and grant recipients were first-generation college students.

Beginning in 2017, the Minute Maid Grand Slam For Youth scholarship program will be awarding 25 - $ 5,000 Scholarships. Please share this with any youth who:

  • Reside in the Greater Houston Area
  • Are graduating from High School by June 15, 2017
  • Have participated in organized youth baseball or softball program

The application, qualifications and more detailed instructions can be found here:

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MBK SW2AG Fest - Scarborough High School

MBK Houston hosted the first "Students Wanting 2 Achieve Greatness" or "SW2AG Fest" Friday, March 24 at Scarborough High School. As part of the event, Juniors and Seniors from Scarborough HS had the opportunity to visit and speak with representatives from HCC, TSU, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College and UH-Downtown. Similarly, students learned about services offered by community partners such as Neighborhood Centers, Inc., Cafe College, Baylor College of Medicine and TDECU in a series of interactive workshops.

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Hire Houston Youth Kick Off - April 10, 2017

Mayor Sylvester Turner and partners kicked off the application period for the second year of Hire Houston Youth on April 10th at the McDonalds on Studemont at I-10. Utilizing public/private partnerships, Hire Houston Youth will provide jobs and internships to Houston youth between the ages of 16 to 24 at an hourly wage of $8. In the past, the City of Houston helped place about 450 kids in summer jobs. This year, there will be 5,000 positions available.

"Never before have this many summer jobs been offered for Houston youth,” said Mayor Turner. “We are taking this program to historic levels. Summer employment provides young people with an opportunity to gain workforce readiness skills, engages them in positive activities during the summer, and links them to long-term career opportunities. An able and ready workforce is also critical to ensuring a robust economic future for our city. I am committed to providing summer jobs for our young people who live in the city and I call on our corporate partners to work together with the City of Houston to Hire Houston's Youth!”

"Every youth should be able to participate in the rich, vibrant, and robust economy that’s in their backyard,” remarked Juliet Stipeche, Director of Education for the City of Houston. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than a third of American teenagers held a job in the summer of 2016, and their participation in the workforce is at a historic low. At the same time, 40-50 percent of large US employers report they cannot fill entry-level positions. "We need to give our youth, who are sometimes secondary income earners in their families, opportunities not only to be educated but also employed. The HHY initiative aligns with MBK Houston Milestone 5 and will assist our city’s youth in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and abilities to transition into the workforce successfully," said Noel Pinnock, Division Manager of MBK Houston.

Applications will be accepted online at In addition, six (6) on-the-spot hiring events are planned to connect youth looking for jobs with employers who are hiring. These events will include access to community resources, financial literacy and scholarship information. Applicants need to bring their resumes and employment eligibility documentation.

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Hire Houston Youth Partnership Announcement

Hire Houston Youth - On the Spot Hiring Fairs

MBK is partnering with Mayor Turner's Hire Houston Youth Initiative (HHY) on a series of "On the Spot" Hiring Fairs for young adults ages 16-24. Participating companies include: Kroger, Fiesta, McDonald’s, Four Seasons, ProSTAR Builders and more.

These events will also include access to community resources, financial literacy and scholarship information. Find the location closest to you on the flyer below. More info on HHY efforts at:

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*Job Opportunity* Air Alliance Houston

Air Alliance Houston is hiring Field Interviewers for door-to-door surveying in the 5th Ward/Northside, South Park, and Magnolia Park neighborhoods for their Metal Air Pollution Partnership Solutions (MAPPS) Project. The positions will span Spring and Summer 2017 and offer an estimated 15-25 hours per month.

For more info, call Maria Jimenez ( at 713-500-9284 or Juan Flores at 713-528-3779 or visit

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Earl Carl Institute's Juvenile Justice Project - MBK Houston

The Earl Carl Institute's (ECI) Juvenile Justice Project at Texas Southern University is partnering with MBK Houston to assist juveniles up to the age of 24 in need of legal assistance. As part of this effort, MBK will work with the Harris County DA's Office and the 315th Judicial District Juvenile Court to identify two groups of juveniles in need of assistance:

  • Juveniles with open records that need to be sealed.
  • Juveniles whose cases were dismissed, but additional records remain open. These may include arrest records, detention center records, and more.

ECI will train volunteer attorneys to ensure legal records of juveniles are sealed and/or expunged. The training will take place through workshops and written materials. ECI will receive referrals from MBK, screen cases, and distribute cases for representation to the pro bono attorneys trained at ECI workshops. More info to come.

MBK Houston Delegation Attends Implicit Bias Workshop at Moorehouse

MBK Houston, including representatives from the Houston Independent School District and the Harris County District Attorney's Office had the opportunity to attend a two-day training on Implicit Bias facilitated by Dr. Bryant Marks. The workshop was sponsored by Bloomberg Associates as part of their ongoing support of MBK jurisdictions.

Attendees were introduced to the concept of bias, why it exists, approaches to measuring biases and were given time to brainstorm ways raising awareness across institutions might ultimately help reduce biased actions. Guests were also treated to a panel discussion featuring current Moorehouse students who spoke on their experiences growing up, attending school at an HBCU and what the idea of My Brother's Keeper means to them.

MBK Community Activity

Mayor Turner Launches Complete Community Initiative

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Mayor Turner launches his administration Complete Communities Initiative. Complete Communities is about improving neighborhoods so that all of Houston’s residents and business owners can have access to quality services and amenities. It’s about working closely with the residents of communities that haven’t reached their full potential, understanding their strengths and opportunities, and collaborating with partners across the city to strengthen them.

This work aligns well with that of MBK Houston and we look forward to supporting this effort in the months and years to come.

Texans Together - Empower Houston Leaders Parent Enagement

MBK has partnered with Texans Together Education Fund (TTEF) to engage parents in their Empower Houston Leaders (EHL) program. The eight-week EHL curriculum empowers grassroots leaders to mobilize their community through Direct Action Organizing and the development of community projects.

TTEF graduated more than 20 parents from a cohort hosted at the Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center. Projects developed by this cohort: helped to form awareness groups to educate community members about their cultural history, encouraged fathers to get involved at their children's school, and developed campaigns to connect parents to volunteer opportunities among others.

Currently, TTEF is facilitating a cohort at Katherine Smith Elementary School. The cohort has a few weeks of classes left and has already executed one of many planned projects, a "Know Your Rights" workshop organized in partnership with Mi Familia Vota.

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Wheatley HS Students Paint Campus Murals

Reginald Adams and Sacred Sites will be working in the targeted MBK communities to expose students (Questers) to diverse cultures, international communities, the arts and life-skills to prepare them to become global citizens. We will post periodic updates on the project here in the newsletter.

Students at Wheatley High School in Houston's historic Fifth Ward are painting a series of canvas murals to celebrate the rich history and heritage of the 90 year old campus. These students are leaving an artistic legacy for generations to come one paint stroke at a time. This project is made possible by the Houston Museum of African American Culture and My Brother's Keeper Houston.

Noteworthy News

Houston Chronicle - Teaching Ricardo: Three Things Black and Brown Boys Need to Excel

A great piece written by a local educator on approaches to engaging young Black and Brown men and boys. Walker touches on culturally-relevant texts, building self-esteem and uplifting the voices of young men.

NY Times - Why Talented Black and Hispanic Students Can Go Undiscovered

"Public schools are increasingly filled with black and Hispanic students, but the children identified as “gifted” in those schools are overwhelmingly white and Asian." So begins a recent New York Times article that chronicles the under-representation of Black and Hispanic students in gifted and talented (or GT) programs.

The article cites new evidence on the role school systems play in perpetuating these disparities and goes on to highlight the work of a school district in Florida's alternative approach to screening children that increased the number of Black and Hispanic students identified as gifted.


Paper Tigers - Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 20th, 6-9pm

170 Heights Boulevard

Houston, TX

Join Mental Health America's Center for School Behavioral Health, Fuel Ed and MBK Houston for a screening of the documentary Paper Tigers, followed by a panel discussion on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed practices.

Please note registration is $10 and covers the cost of dinner. More info here:

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“Restorative Justice 360” A Year of Implementation Conference

Saturday, April 29th, 8am

13703 Aldine Westfield Road

Houston, TX

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Girl Empowerment Network (GEN) will hold its 2nd annual We Are Girls Conference at Hogg Middle School

Saturday, April 29th, 8am-3:30pm

1100 Merrill Street

Houston, TX

Girls Empowerment Network (GEN) is a nonprofit serving girls in 3rd – 12th grades. Our mission is to support and guide girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood.

The We Are Girls Conference, produced by Girls Empowerment Network (GEN) is an annual statewide event designed especially for girls in grades 3-8 and the adults who care about them. Featuring skill-building workshops and dynamic presentations, the We Are Girls Conference connects girls to relatable role models and encourages healthy relationships, educational discovery, and creative self-expression. Leadership positions are available for high school girls. Tickets are $30 per person and 50% attendees attend on scholarship.

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Mayor Turner's Turnaround Houston

Friday, May 12th, 9am-1pm

6400 High Star Drive

Houston, TX

Turnaround Houston! is an initiative launched by Mayor Sylvester Turner in an effort to address the barriers to employment that many Houstonians face. Turnaround Houston will offer access to job training, resume writing, tattoo removal, social service agencies, educational institutions, counseling and more.
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Join the MBK Houston Movement

MBK Houston does not exist independent of partnership, whether in the community or through individual volunteers. We strongly encourage you to ask your business partners, colleagues, and friends to take the MBK pledge and sign up to become a MBK volunteer by clicking here or copy and paste the URL below in your web browser.


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MBK Social Media Presence

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