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New York State Education Department Hosts 2023 My Brother’s Keeper Symposium

ALBANY, NY -- Hundreds of students, parents, educational leaders, advocates, and experts from across the nation will once again come together in person in Albany for the symposium on My Brother’s Keeper, the initiative to help boys and young men of color—and all students—realize their full potential. The thought-provoking event will feature nationally renowned guest speakers and illuminating student and educator discussions. The MBK Fellows student panel, always an emotional and enlightening portion of the symposium, is in-person for the first time since the pandemic.

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. and State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa will deliver welcoming remarks. Board of Regents members expected to attend include Regents Luis O. Reyes, Shino Tanikawa, and Adrian I. Hale.

NYS MBK would not be possible without support from the state’s dedicated legislators. The program will include Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has championed New York State MBK since its inception and will address attendees.

Featured Events

New York City’s MBK students will kick off the day’s main events with a musical performance that promises surprises, inspiration, and entertainment.

New York State MBK is proud to welcome this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Eric “ET” Thomas. This critically acclaimed author, educator, and prominent speaker draws from his personal experiences of homelessness, the absence of his biological father, and his academic struggles to connect with audiences.

The largest-ever class of NYS My Brother’s Keeper Fellows, 97 rising high school seniors, will be inducted during a ceremony that is truly one of the highlights of the symposium. 2023 inductees will serve as student mentors and develop service projects designed to instill leadership skills and benefit their schools and communities.

The 2023 NYS My Brother’s Keeper Symposium will begin at 8:30 a.m., on Friday, May 19th, in the Convention Hall, Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY

To watch live visit

The New York State My Brother’s Keeper Community Network has grown to 36 member communities, including New York City, Yonkers, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. In 2014, former President Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force at the federal level. The Task Force was an interagency effort focused on closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color so that all young people have the chance to reach their full potential. With the adoption of the 2016–17 New York State budget, New York became the first state to accept the President’s challenge and enacted the My Brother’s Keeper initiative into law.

“My Brother’s Keeper is a movement for the 36 member communities to have serious dialogues about investing in all young people,” Chancellor Young said. “It is a message to our boys and young men of color that we will do all we can to ensure that they go as far as their hopes and hard work will take them. This symposium is a celebration of the work already being done in our MBK communities, and an opportunity to encourage our young people to build a strategy for success.”

“The accomplishments of the young men and women of New York MBK are a testament to the important effort to bring greater equity and opportunity to New York’s students, particularly students of color,” Commissioner Rosa said. “Perhaps most impactful for me is hearing directly from students for whom the My Brother’s Keeper initiative has provided a chance to connect with mentors and programs to help them realize their full potential.”

Symposium Agenda

8:30 am Welcome Remarks

Dr. Anael Alston and Ms. Kimberly Hardaway, NYSED

Dr. Lester W. Young, Jr., Chancellor, NYS Board of Regents

Hon. Carl E. Heastie, New York State Assembly Speaker

Dr. Betty A. Rosa, New York State Education Commissioner

9:00 am

Musical Selection performed by New York City MBK

9:15 am

MBK Fellows Student Panel moderated by Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt

10:00 am

Induction of the 2023 MBK Fellows

10:45 am

My MBK, Living & Learning with Buffalo MBK, Newburgh MBK,

New York City MBK, Ossining MBK, and Uniondale MBK

11:15 am

New York State MBK Accomplishments/Going Forward with Dr.

Anael Alston, Assistant Commissioner, NYSED

12:00 pm

Lunch and Pipeline to Opportunities Fair

Musical Selections by NYC MBK

1:00 pm

Keynote Address by Dr. Eric “ET” Thomas

A webcast will be available. Watch live:

Please look for and use the hashtag #NYSMBK on social media.


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