President Barack Obama met with artists like Nicki Minaj, Pusha T, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Common, J. Cole, Alicia Keys and more to discuss the administration’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative that aims to support programs that keep young people out of the criminal justice system.
Chance the Rapper, Ludacris, Wale, Janelle Monae and DJ Khaled were also into attendance for the White House meeting, The Associated Press reports. My Brother’s Keeper Task Force chair Broderick Johnson and Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett also sat in on the meeting, which was not announced by the White House but later confirmed by the AP.
Since Obama began the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in February 2014, private institutions, foundations, businesses, community groups and more have contributed over $500 million in grants and $1 billion in financing toward the My Brother’s Keeper’s “six milestones” for boys and young men of color: Getting a healthy start, reading at grade level by the third grade, graduating from high school ready for college or career, completing postsecondary training, entering the workforce and keeping young adults on track and giving them second chances.
In December, Minaj said in an interview that Obama’s sympathetic view towards prisoners incarcerated for drug charges “melted my heart.” “I thought it was so important when he went to prisons and spoke to people who got 20 and 30 and 40 and 50 years for drugs. There are women who are raped, people who are killed and [offenders] don’t even serve 20 years. I was blown away, watching the footage of him speaking to the prisoners,” the rapper said. “I loved that he made them people again. Because we all make mistakes.”
Sat with President Obama in the Oval Office today.#MyBrothersKeeper
— Yung Renzél (@rickyrozay) April 15, 2016