About 300 young people found jobs Thursday in Oakland at the first nationwide stop for My Brother’s Keeper Alliance: Invest in Youth: Pathways to Success Boys and Men of Color Career Summit.
Another 700 interviewed or took part in career workshops at the event that started at 9 a.m. at the Oakland Convention Center at 550 10th St.
The event is meant to help solve problems prompting protests around the country against the police and government by providing jobs and opportunities.
The summit was a place for any young person 18 to 29 years old and especially boys and men of color to interview, make connections and take part in career workshops.
Future stops for the summit include Detroit, Michigan; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Newark, New Jersey.
President Obama’s assistant and Cabinet secretary Broderick Johnson said he heard from a young woman today who was telling her mom by phone that she was hired.
“She was so excited. … This is real. This is tangible.”
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said for too long our institutions have told men of color that all they needed to do was work harder to be successful, but the institutions have failed to recognize the barriers boys and men of color face:
“Today is about ending that.”
The mayor said the jobs offered at the summit provide good wages, benefits and a future.
Oakland man David Crosby, 21, said the summit “was really great.” He submitted a resume to PepsiCo and he learned he could go to Laney College to study criminal justice. His dream is to be an air marshal.
He’s eager to do something that requires courage and responsibility.
Not long after the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, President Obama started My Brother’s Keeper. The initiative started in the East Room of the White House where major legislation has been signed, Broderick said, signaling the importance of the initiative.
Broderick said this summit was about people and their future.
Kaiser Permanente recruiter Yama Achikzai spoke with quite a few good candidates eligible for entry-level positions at Kaiser, which has 7,000 jobs open in Northern California:
“We’re hiring. … From janitors to physicians.”