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President Obama at Lehman College in the Bronx

The President made a special appearance at Lehman College in the Bronx on Monday. With his agenda toward economic growth in the Black and Latino populations, the President attended the college campus to promote his new volunteer program, "My Brother's Keeper's", which is a nonprofit program for Black and Latino males who face uncertainty in the workforce.

The President described the plight of today's young Black and Latino males as a "sense of unfairness and powerlessness," that fueled the protests in Ferguson, New York and Baltimore.

"The catalyst of those protests," the President said to reporters. "were the tragic deaths of young African American men and the feeling that law enforcement is not always applied evenly in this country. In too many places in this country Black and Latino young men experience being treated differently by law enforcement. The statistics are clear. There's no disputing that."

The President went on to address the recent tensions between the police and the communities they serve, reminding the public that not all police officers were bad.

"They have a tough job," the President said of the police around the country. "They put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. As you know, New York's finest lost one of its own today. Officer Brian Moore. Shot in the line of duty."

Obama spoke further on equality and the lack of economic opportunity in most Black and Latino communities.

"There are communities that don't have enough jobs, not enough investments, enough opportunities," he said. "You have communities with 30 or 40 or 50 percent unemployment. They've been struggling long before the economic crisis of 2007 and 2008."

The President acknowledged that he was not interested in blame, but in responsibility, and the foundation of the "My Brother's Keeper" program was created just for that purpose.

He told the students at Lehman College, "We care about your future."

Since launching the program initiative in 2014, the President has joined with business and faith leaders, Sponsors, such as BET, athletes, entertainers, and nonprofit organizations to help break down barriers and clear pathways to opportunity.

The program intends to open up the gates of chance for young men of color to achieve prospects in education and economics while striving to reduce the high school dropout and unemployment rate afflicting today's urban youth.

"How well we do as a nation depends on whether our young people are succeeding," he stated. "That's our future workforce. Instead of our African American and Latino men going to jail, they can be taxpayers."


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