Last updated at 13:15 GMT, Friday, 28 February 2014

Obama's youth initiative

Summary

28 February 2014

President Obama has launched an initiative called "My Brother's Keeper" to help young, minority men in the United States. He said that these young men consistently do worse in society and urged stronger efforts to create more opportunities for them.

Reporter:

Beth McLeod

The US president Barack Obama

Obama says he understands the difficulties faced by minority youths

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Report

America's first black president has generally avoided policies defined by race, but in an emotional speech Mr Obama said it's an outrage that young Hispanic and African-American men have the odds stacked against them in US society.

He cited what he described as heart-breaking statistics, saying that these young men were more likely to have no father in the house, more likely to end up in jail, and more likely to be victims of violent crime.

The unemployment rate for African-American men was 12% last month, more than double that for white men.

President Obama said that he could identify with this group, and announced a new federal task force to develop ways to keep minority youths in school and out of the criminal justice system.

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Vocabulary

defined by

(here) created because of; concerned with

outrage

anger and shock

have the odds stacked against

be very unlikely to succeed due to difficult surrounding circumstances

cited

mentioned information from a particular source

heart-breaking

causing a lot of sadness

identify with

understand someone's situation and feelings due to experiencing a similar situation

task force

group of people brought together to carry out a particular mission