Mark Sherman, a big fan of President Obama, asks him to call the nation’s attention to the problems facing boys and young men.

Washington, DC – May 1, 2013  Today Dennis Barbour, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of The Boys Initiative applauded an open letter to President Obama from Dr. Mark Sherman, the Editor of The Boys Initiative’s blog. The letter reads in part as follows:

Dear Mr. President,

I am a lifelong liberal Democrat and a strong supporter of your presidency. A friend and I drove two hours to canvass for your candidacy in Scranton, PA during the 2008 primaries; I was overjoyed when you first won the nomination and then the presidency that year, and equally, if not more, ecstatic when you were re-elected last year.  I contributed by far more to your campaigns than I ever have to any other political candidate.  I continue to be a huge fan of yours—bravo for your stands on gay marriage and  gun control—but there is one thing about which I have been disappointed: your administration’s apparent lack of concern about how boys and young men are doing in America today. It is in this one area that I have found you, to my dismay, entirely silent.

….I am sure you are aware that on so many measures boys are lagging behind girls, and have been for quite a few years now. ….I realize that women have still not achieved full equality—whether in terms of salary or position. But if one considers Americans under the age of 25, there is little question that it is boys and young men who are lagging.…Until recently, and perhaps even today, mothers of sons have been excited by not only the success of women, but also of young girls. But I have found that more and more mothers—and grandmothers—of boys are becoming concerned about their sons’ and grandsons’ futures. A perfect example is Dottie Lamm, former first lady of Colorado, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1998, and a leading feminist in her state.  Ms. Lamm, who has three young grandsons, wrote a piece in the Denver Post in April 2010 titled “Our Boys Are Falling Behind in Education”. Her opening lines are “What’s the next battle for an aging feminist? Boys.”

…To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope.  (The full text of the letter can be found here.)

Thank you, Mr. President.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Sherman                                 


The mission of The Boys Initiative is to shed light on declining achievement and wellbeing among boys and young men, to foster dialogue and debate about the issue, and to collaborate on solutions with those who are committed to the futures of our nation’s youth.  The organization’s principal role is to serve as a hub for information exchange and action among the broad range of organizations whose work touches on boys and young men. 

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CONTACT: Dennis J. Barbour
202-380-1788 | 202-841-7475