Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Office of Children’s Affairs yesterday announced the 2020 class of the MBK25 as part of the city’s local work on the national My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. This year, the 25 individuals who were honored in a virtual ceremony were boys and young men of color between the ages of 13 – 24 who have been working to transform self and systems, as well as engage in positive ways to help their communities. They are Denver's young emerging leaders.
“These young men are making their mark in Denver, and with the challenges they consistently face as boys and young men of color, they're not letting their circumstances define who they are,” Mayor Hancock said. “We need to infuse hope in our young people, and ensure we are supporting and equipping them with what they need to become the leaders we know they can be."
Recognizing individuals as an MBK25 honoree is under the larger My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in Denver, and celebrates the work of those who are committed to supporting the success of boys and young men of color – this is what MBK Denver is all about. Over the past five years, MBK25 has honored 125 individuals, including teachers, coaches, faith leaders, administrators, police officers, business leaders, members from the military, community members, volunteers, custodians and now boys and young men of color who will be our next generation of leaders. With 2020 creating so many challenges for all of us, especially young people, MBK25 was purposed this year to honor boys and young men of color, directly, instead of those who have been doing the work to ensure they have a path toward success.
“In 2020, young people were stepping up and leading the way in Denver, and boys and young men of color were thinking beyond themselves; taking steps to make a difference now, and at such a young age –it was important to highlight their strength, their resilience, and their potential for leadership, now,” said Dionne Williams, Executive Director for the Office of Children’s Affairs. “Our honorees this year clearly understand that they own the most important role in determining their success and truly have all the characteristics to be great leaders."
Nominations were received from the general public and then pared down to 25 by a panel of city staff and community members who serve or work directly with youth. Watch this video showcasing the 2020 class of Denver's MBK25.