WASHINGTON –  A new group backed by President Obama has turned to Mayor Nutter and Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) for support as the president eyes his long-term legacy and focuses on helping young minority men growing up in poor communities.

Booker and Nutter are among a star-studded list of board members or advisors to the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, which the New York Times described as "the nucleus" of Obama's plans after he leaves office.

Among others who will help the group are executives from PepsiCo, News Corporation and Sprint, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Attorney General Eric Holder, music star John Legend, ex-athletes such as Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Jerome Bettis and the mayors of Indianapolis and Sacramento, the Times reported.

Obama unveiled the group Monday at a West Bronx college, saying "opportunity gaps" that often begin at birth and are compounded over time leave many young men and women feeling that "no matter how hard they try, they may never achieve their dreams."

In turning to Booker and Nutter to help lead the group, Obama is leaning on two political peers who grew up around the same time (Booker is 46, Obama 53 and Nutter 57) and who have spent much or all of their careers in cities facing many of the challenges Obama is hoping to take on.

Nutter has been an outspoken Obama ally, often speaking out on behalf of White House initiatives or championing policies in Philadelphia – like paid sick leave - that could not get through Congress. Booker, on the day he was sworn in, joined Obama for a football toss at the White House. The senator has been an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform to help alleviate some of the inequality he says he saw as mayor of Newark.

"At the end of the day, what kind of society do we want to have?" Obama said in his speech Monday. "It's not enough to celebrate the ideals that we're built on -- liberty for all, and justice for all and equality for all.  Those can't just be words on paper.  The work of every generation is to make those ideals mean something concrete in the lives of our children -- all of our children."

He said the new group, supported by private donations and built off of a public-private initiative he began after Trayvon Martin's death, will aim to support programs shown to be helpful at critical points in young people's developments, such as early childhood education, apprenticeships and mentoring.

The organization, which will be run outside of the White House, already has $80 million in commitments, Obama said Monday.

He and others involved in the program "see ourselves in these young men" Obama said Monday, noting that he grew up "without a dad" lost "and sometimes adrift."

"The only difference between me and a lot of other young men in this neighborhood and all across the country is that I grew up in an environment that was a little more forgiving," Obama said.

The goal of helping children in difficult circumstances, Obama said, "will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency, but for the rest of my life."

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