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In an important move for people of color who helped propel him into office twice, President Barack Obama on Monday vowed to continue fighting for young Black and brown lives well after he leaves office.

Obama made the pledge Monday in the Bronx section of New York City during the aftermath of unrest over police violence against Blacks in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and New York. He was also in town to announce a new nonprofit organization that is being spun off from his White House initiative called My Brother’s Keeper.

The new group, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, will serve as the vehicle for Obama’s post-presidential work, which will begin in January 2017. It is staked by more than $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors, according to The New York Times.

“I’m going to keep on fighting, and everybody here is going to keep on fighting to make sure that all of our kids have the opportunity to make of their lives what they will,” he said to applause during the speech at Lehman College, according to a statement released by the White House. “Today is just the beginning. We’re going to keep at this for you, the young people of America, for your generation and for all the generations to come.”

Reports The Times:

Organizers said the new alliance already had financial pledges from companies like American Express, Deloitte, Discovery Communications and News Corporation. The money will be used to help companies address obstacles facing young black and Hispanic men, provide grants to programs for disadvantaged youths, and help communities aid their populations.

Joe Echevarria, a former chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, will lead the alliance, and among those on its leadership team or advisory group are executives at PepsiCo, News Corporation, Sprint, BET and Prudential Group Insurance; former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell; Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey; former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; the music star John Legend; the retired athletes Alonzo Mourning, Jerome Bettis and Shaquille O’Neal; and the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

Read the entire transcript of the president’s speech.



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