TULSA, Okla. — ImpactTulsa, a local collective-impact organization, on Thursday, Dec. 2, announced Tulsa has accepted the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Challenge. BerThaddaeus Bailey, an accomplished community activist, nonprofit founder and policy analyst, will lead Tulsa’s MBK initiative as Director, and was formally introduced at the Local Action Summit.
Thursday’s summit, with over 100 registrants, highlighted input from students who have been engaged in preliminary focus groups led by MBK Manger, Curcio Smith. Students from schools across Tulsa county have shared their ideas on how community members and leaders can help the students advocate with them to bring about change in Tulsa. Breakout sessions elevated the voice of interested community members and allowed the space to offer meaningful input.
“I am beyond excited to serve as the Director for the My Brother’s Keeper-Tulsa initiative and be a part of the coalition of organizations, businesses, municipalities, religious leaders, and others who are effecting change for boys and young men of color in and around the city of Tulsa,” Bailey said.
My Brother’s Keeper addresses persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color to ensure all youth can reach their full potential. This nationwide effort was launched in 2014 by President Obama and the work continues as the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance, an initiative of the Obama Foundation. The MBK Alliance focuses on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity.
“I do not take it lightly that this program is the vision of former President Barack Obama”, Bailey said. “I am grateful to The Obama Foundation and former President Obama’s vision for providing pathways for collaboration to ensure opportunities, resources, and programming , targeting boys and young men of color in cities across this nation.”
Nearly 250 cities, towns, counties and tribal nations in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia accepted the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge. MBK communities are answering the former President’s powerful call to action by working across sectors and organizations to convene leaders, identify effective strategies, and affect systems change in their local communities.
“As a native of Tulsa, this cause is near and dear to my heart,” Bailey said. “I am who I am today, because change-agents through organizations like this invested heavily into my development. I am excited to now pour this investment back into this generation of aspiring leaders.”
A native Tulsan, Bailey is the 11th child of the late Reverend, Dr. Bertrand Maurice Bailey Sr. and Mrs. Juandalyn Joan Bailey. He is the first student to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public and Business Administration from The University of Oklahoma (OU), simultaneously.
During Bailey’s time at OU, he served the student body as the Director of Diversity and was featured on CNN, MSNBC and “Good Morning America” addressing racial tensions that followed a tumultuous event on campus. In the aftermath, he was instrumental in developing and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives on OU’s campus. Upon graduation, he returned to the university to serve as a part-time adjunct professor, instructing a course on “Cultural Awareness”.
For the past 5 years, BerThaddaeus has served as a Senior policy analyst for the State of Oklahoma’s health care and child support programs. He has assisted the State in securing over $100 million in federal funding to support a plethora of Oklahoma’s health care initiatives.
Bailey has also deeply engaged in community work. He is the founder of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Speaks 4 You, Inc., where he and other financial experts assist students from underprivileged backgrounds in achieving scholarships for their college education. He also founded the Dr. Jerome B. Wade Scholarship (named in memory of his childhood mentor), which has successfully awarded thousands of dollars in financial support to graduating seniors in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
BerThaddaeus is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 2018, he married the love of his life, JaQuitta Danielle Bailey. In December 2020, they welcomed their first daughter, Amara Bailey.