Trabian Shorters (above left) is founding CEO of BMe Community and former vice president of communities at Knight Foundation. The following is cross-posted from The Miami Herald. Photo credit: Flickr user Knight Foundation. President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative to improve opportunities for boys and men of color is in step with our times. Three years ago, I sat with George Soros and an eclectic group of black leaders in a small New York hotel room, courtesy of Shawn Dove of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Soros explained why being a Hungarian Jew who lived through the Holocaust helps him to see dangerous patterns that threaten democratic society. DOWNLOAD "A Statement from the Executives Alliance on the New White House Initiative, My Brother's Keeper" (PDF format) from Executives' Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color "An Initiative to Advance Achievement of and Opportunity For Boys and Young Men of Color: Philanthropic Statement of Support" (PDF format) Over the past five years, Soros has pledged about $80 million of his own money to support a healthier America by helping black males out of the dangerous patterns that threaten them. In August 2011, his friend Michael Bloomberg announced a similar $127 million public-private initiative in New York, which included $30 million from Soros. Bloomberg and Soros were the boldest but certainly not the only philanthropists to take this position. In April 2013, five foundation leaders convened their peers on this subject: Bob Ross, president of The California Endowment; Ken Zimmerman, director of U.S. programs for the Open Society Foundations; Alberto Ibargüen, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Emmett Carson, president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. By the end of the day more than two dozen foundation heads had signed a pledge to create more opportunities for boys and men of color.