A collective of nearly 30 Black women civic and religious leaders have joined forces to stand in support of President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.

In an open letter to the President, the group, led by The Reverend Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner (President, Skinner Leadership Institute), affirmed that:

We are particularly pleased with initiatives which have had a positive impact on women and girls of color, including: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009; the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans; the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics; The Affordable Care Act which covers women of color who represent 53% of the uninsured females; and, “Girls at Risk,” that provides prevention and education which focuses on the connection between juvenile delinquency and STD/HIV infection. We also support your efforts to raise the minimum wage, an issue affecting girls and women of color at disparate rates; your efforts to ensure that progress continues; and your commitment that longstanding needs of females are addressed through your White House Commission on Women and Girls. We express our gratitude, as well, for the excellent work that First Lady Michelle Obama has done in mentoring and outreach to girls – connecting them with women of substance and celebrity.

In contrast to pro-woman critics of the MBK program who charge that the initiative for boys and men is inherently biased against girls, the national women leadership group stands firm in the assertion that girls and all Americans, in fact, will, benefit from the program. The letter concludes, “We believe that a successful “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative can result in stronger families, stronger fathers, stronger employees, stronger leaders; and ultimately, a stronger America. Therefore, Mr. President, we pledge our commitment to support this ground-breaking and historic initiative, which addresses the challenges facing the everyday lives of our at-risk children and youth.

Click here to read the letter in full.