CONTENTS 18. 32.
The 100 BMOGC, Inc. is proud to partner with a company like Diamond’s Men’s Store. This longtime community member shares common goals based on solid values, the enrichment of our youth, and opportunities for all.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression. According to the American Psychiatric Association, SAD is officially classified as a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns. So if you have a seasonal affective disorder, you have mood changes and symptoms of depression.,You can also get a mild version of SAD known as the “winter blues.” It’s normal to feel a little down during colder months. You may be stuck inside, and it gets dark early. It’s a form of depression. Unlike the winter blues, SAD affects your daily life, including how you feel and think.
One such outstanding super volunteer was April D. Harrison, who now is the Senior Manager, Training & Business Development at the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). “It was soo long ago, but such fond memories and so much I can say.
In the 100, we believe in Membership Engagement. In simple terms, member engagement is the ongoing interaction between a member and an organization in exchange for meaningful value.
Fatherhood is an essential part of the “family” structure. Statistics show that fathers are critical to their children’s healthy social, emotional, spiritual, and economic well-being. I recently read an article that stated in the last decade, the social sciences have begun recognizing and examining fathers’ crucial role in child development and family dynamics.
Fathers need to be present and presently doesn’t necessarily mean current in the home but present in your child’s life. And not just present but presentable. The second call to fathers is they should be a provider. In my experience in Court and Church, one of the things I find most appalling is those men who refuse to provide for their children.
The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is recognized as the nation’s top African American led mentoring orga nization. Every African-American person should have the ability to create the life they’ve always wanted and that’s what The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. pro vides.
Committing ourselves to personify the type of people our children will look up to and emulate, we embrace the immense responsibility we have to our mentees and our communities. Providing these children another choice in life by being around likeminded individuals who have similar aspirations and goals.
As we have grown The Network of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. more companies and programs have been formed to assist in delivering the education and empowerment needed to change the course of these children’s lives. This is done through the 100’s Four For The Future focus areas; Mentoring, Education, Health & Wellness, and Economic Empowerment.
Through the expansion, we’ve created 100 Black Men Chapters that delivers unique programs that address specific needs in local communities. Through 57 years of testing, we’ve created the 100’s successful model. A proven blueprint for mentoring and developing young people into future leaders by surrounding themselves with a positive network and giving them the opportuni ty that they may not have thought was possible.
Our ongoing commitment to continuously improve and implement our programmatic initiatives is what drives us. Helping shape our mentees realize their potential by showing them how to be successful and significant, stressing the importance of obtaining and applying education, and providing them the tools that empower them for self-sufficiency, cultivated civic, and business leadership
The overall concept of “The 100” began in 1963 in New York City when a group of concerned African American men began to meet to explore ways of improving conditions in their community. These visionaries included businessmen and industry leaders such as David Dinkins, Robert Mangum, Dr. William Hayling, Nathaniel Goldston III, Livingston Wingate, Andrew Hatcher, and Jackie Robinson. On October 2, 1986, representatives from 100 Black Men Chapters converged in Washington, DC, for a final meeting to establish a national organization. During previous meetings, they determined the structure, governance and model that would provide the most effective physical and financial resources to support the communities and Chapters. At the final gathering, the organization’s name – 100 Black Men of America, Inc. – was unveiled and attendees elected four accomplished, professional men from within their ranks to serve as its first and founding officers.
Each of the four were selected based on their demonstrated commitment to give back in a holistic way that addressed the educational, social, emotional, and cultural needs of youth in their own communities. They put their hands to the plow and did the hard work necessary to establish a foundation for a network of Chapters in their infancy, which today is an international nonprofit organization that positively impacts more than 125,000 youth across the United States and abroad. Throughout our history, the leadership of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. has been impeccable. The men chosen as national leaders all have contributed to the growth and strength of the organization. Their unique contributions have helped The 100 to become one of the premiere mentoring organizations anywhere. Consider the impact each leader has made. On May 27, 1987, in Atlanta, Georgia, this newly formed mentoring organization held its first national conference and introduced itself to the nation. Noted speakers included the late Alex P. Haley and the late Honorable Maynard H. Jackson.
On May 27, 1987, in Atlanta, Georgia, this newly formed mentoring organization known as 100 Black Men of America, Inc., held its first national conference and introduced itself to the nation. Noted speakers included the late Alex P. Haley and the late Honorable Maynard H. Jackson.
Well, while we are now in the 11th month when many reflect on Thanksgiving, it makes you think about what you are thankful for. I have so much to be grateful for as I think about myself as a kid and what I wanted to be in life growing up. I had one vision: to be like my father, a banker and a musician who excelled well in both areas. I did not become a musician, but I did become a banker. When I became a banker, I met a mentor named Donald Graham (DG). Graham, who also knew my father, mentored many in the bank, both Black and White. If I didn’t know any better, I would say I was his only mentee, but I knew better; he mentored all of us and treated everybody well.
Graham introduced me to the Urban Bankers, now Urban Financial Services Coalition, where I became the local chapter President and was the National Marketing & Pr Chair. I enjoyed networking both at conventions as well local events. Going to bank events, Graham always said never sit at the table with your co-workers, make new friends and move around. Who knew all those years working for him, He was mentoring me without me knowing. I am sure so many feel the same way. Graham was a tall man in stature but had a big heart. I am forever thankful to him for all he taught me and showed me, and from time to time, we check on each other and talk about those great times.
But on the home front, I had one of the best mentors I could ask for in the person of James W. Wade II, a man I had the honor of calling dad. Seeing my father, who helped so many Black-owned businesses in the state of Ohio, taught me the importance of wanting to give back. Over the years, I did just that and gave back in various ways, and now mentoring kids through the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland. I will always remember my younger years; he said, “Son, never look down on anyone unless you reaching out your hand to them to help them up.” That lesson rings in my ear to this day.
As a child, my father was larger than life, had a great banking job, drove Cadillacs, always had on a suit and cologne, and wore out an organ at church; who wouldn’t want that life? I never could fill his shoes, but I am thankful for the great men in my life to help shape me into the man I am today. I guess the 100 “What They See Is What They’ll Be” is more than a motto. It is a source of motivation and made a difference in my life. Consider becoming a mentor with the 100 Black Men and make a difference in some child’s life.James W. Wade III Punlisher & Editor
I AM GLAD I HAD SOME GREAT MENTOR’S IN MY LIFE
Letter from the Chairman
One of my many joys in working with 100 Black Men is the concentrated focus of all our members to work without pause to serve our community. As the president of 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc., I am excited about our direction and the goals we aim to achieve in 2022. I understand there is no “I” in TEAM, and the only way we continue to grow is through the strength we pull from each member, who has committed their time, energy, and skills to serve our mentees and mentors.
I was recently honored to receive an award for the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. work in the community. We are proud to be one of over 100 chapters of the 100 Black Men of America worldwide. We are equally pleased to have a strong history as a credible and trusted partner in the Cleveland community since 1997.
As many of you know, we are celebrating 25 years this year, and we will end the celebration with our 100 Black Men in Ties Scholarship & Awards Gala coming December 10, 2022. I want to personally invite you to come and be part of this great occasion. Make sure you visit our website to learn about this outstanding event.
In conversing with our board, we seek to add more opportunities to serve our corporate sponsor and community by providing resources to expand employment opportunities through the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland network. We partner with youth, families, community leaders, and institutions to help our African American youth and their families maximize their potential. We do this by providing mentoring, parenting education, and programs focusing on health & wellness, economic empowerment, education, and leadership development.
I have been incredibly fortunate to overcome the daily difficulties I see in the world. I can’t imagine what it’s like to go without hope - and I think it’s a shame that in a country as great as ours, anyone should.
With that desire in my heart, I preside over the 100 BMOGC, Inc. We’re all looking to make a difference in our community, and I believe that by focusing on communities, we’re going to make the most substantial impact. The world is made up of these meaningful social connections, and if you foster them positively, they’ll pay huge dividends - in love, care, and a better world.
Sincerest regards,Lee V. Fields, Jr. Chairman
100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc.
DIAMONDS MEN’S WEAR
100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc. Has A New Business PartnerBy Gregory Lockhart Vice Chairman of 100 BMOGC
Every organization eventually looks to spread its wings and expand further. The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc.(BMOGC) leadership has been working diligently to secure funding for 100BMOGC. Thanks to an introduction by member Lamont Dodson to Randy Diamond of Diamond’s Men’s Store, the door was opened for the 100 to discuss a sponsorship-focused partnership to benefit their mentoring programs targeted at African American youth.
Representatives from the 100 BMOGC, Lee Fields, Chairman, Greg Lockhart, Vice Chairman, and Bob Ivory, Director of Programs, and Communications/Public Relations Chair, James W. Wade III, discussed with Randy the importance of their mission and how he and his brother Rick could become allies in the 100’s effort to help their mentees realize what they see, is what they can be. A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as business partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership
may be individuals, businesses, interestbased organizations, schools, governments, or combinations.
The Diamond brothers pledged an ongoing financial commitment through 2022 and have already made their first installment. The 100 BMOGC, Inc. is proud to partner with a company like Diamond’s Men’s Store. This longtime community member shares common goals based on solid values, the enrichment of our youth, and opportunities for all. Our partners are at the forefront of every industry, solving challenges and assisting in finding new ways to help positively change the future of youth.
We provided 100BMOGC, Inc. signage to display in their stores to help bring awareness to its customers of the 100’s programs and their membership and volunteer opportunities.
These partnerships are mutually beneficial as they give the sponsor a way to give back to the community that has supported their business over the years, through a trusted collaborator, like the 100 BMOGC, Inc.
The 100 BMOGC is one of over 100 chapters across the United States and the United
Kingdom. We are looking for great partnerships; if your company is looking to be proactive and be part of the solution, contact us at email@example.com. Let’s do our part to make our communities the best they can be. We invite you to join us.
The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is recognized as the nation’s top African American led mentoring organization.
Leadership Summit, December 8th - 10th, Atlanta, Ga
37th Annual Conference, June 14th - 18th, Las Vegas, NV
DONATE TO THE 100 BLACK MEN OF GREATER CLEVELAND, INC.
FOUR FOR THE
Step Forward works to improve male involvement in Head Start centers.
As the designated Community Action Agency for Cuyahoga County, Step Forward helps residents address immediate needs and build long-term skills to transform their lives. Step Forward supports the whole family - including the youngest among households - with Head Start, a high-quality early childhood education program with a specialized curriculum and individualized assessments to ensure every child stays on track and is prepared to enter kindergarten.
Step Forward serves more than 1,500 children every school year. Head Start teachers and staff set children up for success through a holistic approach to learning, rich and engaging educational environments, and involving parents, especially fathers and father figures, to provide children with a solid academic foundation.
Research shows male involvement is essential to promoting good classroom behavior, better grades, and higher educational attainment. Studies also show involved fathers and father figures positively affect children’s cognitive and verbal development and confidence inside and outside the classroom. Men are critical in the healthy development of not only their children but children in settings where they are present. Male involvement in Step Forward’s Head Start centers benefits all children. According to Step Forward’s Male Involvement Coordinator, Steven Rhodes, students are more alert and engaged when men are involved in classroom activities. Behavioral issues are also less prevalent. “Mothers and fathers provide different outlooks regarding child-rearing, so when a father isn’t involved, a child is missing a piece,” he explained.
Step Forward Head Start recognizes that children are more likely to succeed when fathers and father figures are involved in their lives. The agency is committed to providing men
with the tools and skills to be the best support systems possible. Head Start fathers and father figures have access to programs such as “Men Conversations Wednesdays,” a support group for fathers, and “Fathering in 15,” an online tool with interactive, engaging topics like dealing with grief and loss emotions.
Step Forward also offers a parenting program that teaches participants about child development and building healthy relationships. Male engagement continues to improve at Step Forward Head Start sites. In September 2022, the agency held a successful Fathers Walk, an annual event to celebrate and support male involvement in education. More than 650 fathers attended. Rhodes was proud to see Step Forward’s posts showing the Fathers Walk on social media; adding simple gestures like showing men with their children at sites has helped make men feel more welcomed at their children’s early childhood education site.
“I would like to dispel the stigma that fathers aren’t engaged or don’t want to be engaged,” Rhodes said. “They’re welcome, we need them, and we’re going to support them.”
Step Forward is committed to supporting male involvement to give children the best foundation to succeed inside and outside the classroom. To learn more about getting involved, contact Steven Rhodes, Male involvement and Parent Family Community Engagement Coordinator, at 216.696.9077, extension 604, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A CALL FOR FATHERS
Fathers Can Be Great MentorsBy Pastor Robert Dix Jr.
Fatherhood is an essential part of the “family” structure. Statistics show that fathers are critical to their children’s healthy social, emotional, spiritual, and economic well-being. I recently read an article that stated in the last decade, the social sciences have begun recognizing and examining fathers’ crucial role in child development and family dynamics.
For nearly 20 years, I have worked in the judicial system. For 15 years I served in Cuyahoga County as an Intake and Diversion Officer, a Truancy Mediator, and a Custody Mediator. In my role as an Intake and Diversion Officer, my responsibility was to receive complaints from parents, schools, citizens, and other sources against juveniles and, determine whether probable cause exists, then decide the best course of action for processing cases. Options included facilitating informal hearings that concluded with me making necessary referrals for services rendered by outside agencies or determining if official court action was required.
As a Bailiff in both courts, I was and am responsible for scheduling hearings and journalizing the results of those hearings. In the spiritual realm, I have served for nearly 16 years as a Senior Pastor. Part of my duties includes premarital counseling, marriage/family
counseling, and mentoring boys and men. Sadly, in my experiences at the Court and the Church, the cases and need for counseling are all related directly or indirectly to individuals’ relationships
with their fathers. Growing up, I was fortunate to be raised by two parents in our home. Looking back, I didn’t realize how blessed I was to have a mother and father in the house compared to many of my friends, who either didn’t know their fathers or only interacted with them every other weekend, or for a couple of weeks in the summer.
I have been married for 23 years. I helped my wife Sabrina raise her two daughters and son from a previous relationship, whom I don’t refer to as “step-children”; together, we have a son and daughter. As much as I love pastoring and serving as a bailiff, there is NOTHING I love more than being a husband/father. As a result, I have purposed it in my heart to encourage men to take their role of father and husband (when applicable) seriously. Hence, I am issuing a “Call To Fathers.”
When I say “call to fathers,” I am referring to a cry to men who are willing to accept their responsibilities to their families; respect women;
mentor other men; and, most importantly, actively participate in the lives of their children first and other children who are not fortunate to have healthy relationships with their fathers. I believe this can be attained by men willing to meet four requirements.
First of all, men must be present. Absent fathers are part of the reasons many children suffer and grow up with major social problems. Sadly, many of our brothers have mastered starting families but have failed with maintaining families; they have mastered making babies but have failed at raising them. Our society is suffering from absent fathers!
In the court system, many youths end up in the Juvenile Court system; and many men are in the Adult system. The ratio between males and female fail on the dockets fails in comparison. And when jurists and other professionals
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engage these individuals through screening and services, the result almost always points to their relationship or lack thereof with their father. Then the number of cases involving domestic violence is so great that the court has designated an entire docket to handle them. Sons need
a healthy, loving, and respectful example of a man who knows how to treat women; interact responsibly with other men, and make an honest living. And not only sons but daughters need the same example. She should receive her first hug, kiss, and “I love you” from a loving father who is present so that she will recognize genuine love and affection.
Fathers need to be present and presently doesn’t necessarily mean current in the home but present in your child’s life. And not just present but presentable. The second call to fathers is they should be a provider. In my experience in Court and Church, one of the things I find most appalling is those men who refuse to provide for their children. I’ve seen men who end up in contempt of court orders to pay child support, quit jobs because they refuse to pay child support, and even lose driving privileges or end up in jail. I don’t want to come off as judgmental, and I acknowledge that times had changed from when I grew up and definitely from the time of my parents women are serving more in the workforce.
The final call to fathers is that they must be a protector. Children and women also need the image of a “protective” versus an “abusive” man in their lives.
With the cost of living, two incomes are better than one. But I am convinced that even with a hard-working mother, who makes more than enough, that doesn’t exempt fathers from providing monetary support for their children. And not just financial, but fathers have a responsibility to provide for their children’s emotional, spiritual, and medical needs. The final call to fathers is that they must be a protector. Children and women also need the image of a “protective” versus an “abusive” man in their lives. As a child, one of my fondest memories is that of a man who used to live two doors up from us. This man enjoyed scaring the neighborhood kids by staring at us, yelling at us, and even spitting at us. But he crossed the line one day when he caused my brother and me to be afraid to walk home. When Daddy found out about it, he walked to the end of the driveway and shouted to my brother, “come on home.” He didn’t say anything to the man; his presence and posture spoke in volume, and he sent a message
to the man letting him know in no uncertain terms what would happen the next time he fooled with his kids! I can’t express enough how safe and secure I felt knowing that I had a FATHER who was not only present in my life and providing for my welfare and willing to PROTECT my mother, brother, and me at any cost!
A protective father is necessary for discipline as well. Discipline will aid in protecting our youth from the many vices in society that seek to harm them. In closing, I want first to encourage men to be actively involved in their children’s lives; and take time out to mentor other youth. Shout out to all of the step-fathers, grandfathers, uncles, etc., who have been the unsung heroes in the lives of many of our youth. Then I want to encourage those fathers who acknowledge the deficits in their children’s lives and want to do and be better. There is an assortment of non-court agencies with programs to assist you. One, in particular, is 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland.
FRIENDLY INN SETTLEMENT, INC.
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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is depression triggered by seasonal changes, usually when fall starts. This seasonal depression worsens in the late fall or early winter before ending in the sunnier days of spring. You can also get a mild version of SAD known as the “winter blues.”
It’s normal to feel a little down during colder months. You may be stuck inside, and it gets dark early. But full SAD goes beyond this. It’s a form of depression. Unlike the winter blues, SAD affects your daily life, including how you feel and think. Fortunately, treatment can help you get through this challenging time. The seasonal affective disorder is also called seasonal depression.
Can people get seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the summer?
Some people get a rare form of SAD called “summer depression.” It starts in the late spring or early summer and ends in the fall. It’s less common than the seasonal affective disorder that tends to come during winter.
How common is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
About 5% of adults in the U.S experience SAD. It starts in young adulthood (usually between 18 and 30). SAD affects women more than men, though researchers aren’t sure why. About 10% to 20% of people in America may get a milder form of the winter blues. Who is at risk for the seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is more common in younger people and women. You’re also at higher risk if you:
What is seasonal affective disorder ? Marvin
Have another mood disorder, such as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.
•Have relatives with SAD or other forms of depression or mental health conditions, such as major depression or schizophrenia.
•Live at latitudes far north or far south from the equator. There’s less sunlight during the winter at these latitudes.
•Live in cloudy regions.
What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression. According to the American Psychiatric Association, SAD is officially classified as a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns. So if you have a seasonal affective disorder, you have mood changes and symptoms of depression, including: Sadness, feeling depressed most of the day, almost every day.
•Carbohydrate cravings and weight gain.
•Extreme fatigue and lack of energy.
•Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness.
•Feeling irritated or agitated.
•Limbs (arms and legs) that feel heavy.
ABOUT THE MENTAL
•Loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, including withdrawing from social activities.
•Sleeping problems (usually oversleeping).
•Thoughts of death or suicide.
Marvin Ferguson, the Health & Wellness Chair of the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland Inc., talks about the importance of Mental Health, especially during the Holiday season. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can be triggered by many things, including losing a loved one during the holidays.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH
Denzel Washington Made A Difference In A Young Mans Life
Before he was Jackie Robinson or King T’Challa, Boseman was a student at Howard University being taught by Phylicia Rashad. When Rashad learned that Chadwick and a few of his fellow students had earned admittance to the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program but couldn’t attend due to its cost, she spent “about five minutes” on the phone with Washington before he said he’d help her cover the bill.
The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. is celebrating Twenty-Five years.
We have connected with many who played an essential part in shaping and making the Greater Cleveland Chapter what it is today. One such outstanding super volunteer was April D. Harrison, who now is the Senior Manager, Training & Business Development at the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). “It was soo long ago, but such fond memories and so much I can say. My memory – LOL. In addition to Larry Hines and Curtis (Griggs) mentioned below, there were Julius Singleton, Gregory Clifford, Michael Nelson, Tom Paige, Gil Crawford, Richard Asbury,
Dr. Smoot, and many others. Volunteers – Barbara Palmer, Sheronda Hogue, and others over the years,” said Harrison.
Mentoring begins with the trust and ability to see everyone’s potential. Not every person starts at the same stage, but they all could create a positive impact on society, which begins with the guidance of mentors. With many years behind her, she still has so many fond memories of her time working with the Mentoring Committee. She took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for Real Magazine.
RM: What made you get involved with 100 Black Men?
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT APRIL D. HARRISON
I’ve always had a passion for youth that started years ago as a church worker. Not too long having graduated college, I met my Mentor and Friend Larry Hines who introduced me to the 100BMOGC, and we further formed the 100 Black Men of Tomorrow Program (100BMOT) in Cleveland following the 100 Black Men national format. I remained
involved when my Mentor, Curtis (Griggs) chaired and continued to enhance a thriving program.
RM: What did you like about our mentoring program?
Year after year, I loved watching the young men learn and grow from the distinguished mentors and sessions provided. From how to properly tie a tie, baseball games, day trips to Motown and the Underground Railroad at Second Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, money management, and many other learning sessions and activities. It was a joy hearing them recite the affirmation and elevate to future leaders right before our eyes. Also, it was great watching the Mentors and Volunteers give their time, talents, and resources to ensure these young men were an asset to their communities. It takes a Village.
RM: What does mentoring mean to you?
“What they see is what they’ll be .” Mentoring is necessary at all levels of life, but most specifically in the formative years as the 100BMOGC continues to help mold young men in the City of Cleveland. Providing them with experiences they may have never had the opportunity to experience. It’s something that I continue to do as I work across the country, helping to expose young people to careers in aviation—positive exposure, proper guidance, and giving new and different perspectives. Good mentoring can genuinely change lives. I’m a witness.
Mentoring is the cornerstone of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. The social, cultural, emotional, and unique needs of youth, primarily African
American males, are addressed through one-to-one and group mentoring relationships by 100 Black Men chapter members. Committed to our cause, our members serve as positive role models, advocates, and trusted advisors to children and young adults in their local communities. The 100’s signature mentoring program is a practical, evidence-based, and strategic intervention that helps youth reach their full potential and become contributing members of society—the miracles of mentoring impact over 125,000 lives annually and change communities.
The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. would like to thank April Harrison for the time and talent she provided to many of our youth in the Greater Cleveland area.
“ It was soo long ago, but such fond memories and so much I can say. My memory – LOL. In addition to Larry Hines and Curtis (Griggs) mentioned below, there were Julius Singleton, Gregory Clifford, Michael Nelson, Tom Paige, Gil Crawford, Richard Asbury, Dr. Smoot, and many others. Volunteers – Barbara Palmer, Sheronda Hogue, and others over the years.
A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself Oprah Winfrey
MEMBER ENGAGEMENT MEANS A LOT TO MEBy James W. Wade III Editor
In the 2000s, I first heard about the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc., and I wanted to wear a white tux coat like them every year. Many had asked me to join, including the late Larry Hines, Franklin Martin, and Judge Michael Nelson, but I was too busy to participate. I felt because of my work schedule, I could not commit how I wanted to or how they needed me to, so I would pass every year. Finally, in 2004 I started volunteering to be on the annual Gala Committee, which is how I learned about the 100 Black Men. Since I joined, I have given 110% to help my organization go to the next level. I was committed to becoming a proud member of The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc.
I have no regrets about officially becoming a 100 Black Men and joining the Greater Cleveland Chapter. The experience of working with and mentoring young people is gratifying. 100 Black Men is about volunteering and being accountable. 100 Black Men of America, Inc. developed the programmatic platform, Mentoring the 100 Way Across A Lifetime; this platform provides a comprehensive structure through which the organization’s volunteer network provides community-wide youth programming
and services, face-to-face mentoring, online mentor training, facilitated virtual mentee curriculum that includes a Health & Wellness module, and post-secondary scholarships. In addition to youth, the schools and communities served by 100 Black Men of America, Inc. reap tangible benefits, and through their mentoring classes, I have a certificate of completion.
I remember the days when Luther Towers would tell me he was going to my High School to mentor students and watching Franklin Martin and Larry Hines be the background for the chapter. Those look like fun days, but in 2022, some of us have been committed to returning to those good old days our way. Watching my fellow brothers who came through with me, we had a bond; we earned our pin by volunteering at various events. Over the years, and even in our class, a few have been pinned for doing nothing. We are on a mission to have committed people to give their TIME, TALENT, and RESOURCES to help us grow.
One mentoring program I enjoy is Walk A Mile With A Child. During almost 18 months of dealing with COVID-19, which caused the closing of the schools, the 100 Cleveland Chapter
conducted our mentoring programs. This was the brainchild of one of our founders, Chief Magistrate Gregory Clifford. “I wanted to design a new outdoors mentoring program that would be safe and healthy while maintaining mentoring opportunities. I created a vision of an alternative mentoring concept that I labeled “Walk a Mile with a Child,” said Clifford.
The Cleveland Chapter of 100 Black Men has combined the Mentoring, Education, and Health and Wellness Committees to form this program and connect a nature walk in some of our local public parks with a health and wellness, science, and environmental education component to the mentoring experience. With Clifford’s idea, 100 Black Men chairs Darian Johnson and Dr. Ernest Smoot led the summer program. Each walk is unique. “All mentees are encouraged to know and live by the 100 BMOGC Mentoring Program Affirmation principles - being ethical, excellent, proud, and united,” said Smoot.
During the walks, the 100 Mentors and Mentees discuss essential life skills such as self-care and hygiene, educational success, finance and economics, and peer relations. Youth have time to discuss as a group and in 1-on-1 mentor/ mentee pairings during the walks. This program comprises two components, the walk and the talk/mentoring. Walking, like hiking, running/ jogging, etc., is a weight-bearing exercise. And like all weight-barring exercises, there are numerous physical health benefits. These results include body fat reduction, increased strength and endurance, and improved cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness, significantly reducing health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
100 Black Men of America is a men’s civic organization and service club aiming to educate and empower African-American children and teens. The organization has 110 chapters and over 10,000 members in different cities in the United States and worldwide. The mission is “to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African
Americans.” The organization’s motto, “Real Men Giving Real-Time,” and “What They See is What They’ll Be,” describe the organization’s goals of providing positive role models and leaders to guide the next generation of African Americans and other youth. The members are predominantly African-American professionals, businessmen, civic leaders and administrators, educators, and other occupations.
In the 100, we believe in Membership Engagement. In simple terms, member engagement is the ongoing interaction between a member and an organization in exchange for meaningful value. This means keeping in touch with your membership, often posting on social media, creating meaningful content, and inviting participation, among other approaches. Regularly communicate. It’s essential to keep communication channels open. The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. has improved with communications, and in the future, we plan on having various events to keep our members engaged. You should already know building a loyal member base takes time and requires the focus of each person on the team to provide some member service. What turns out to be crucial for boosting engagement and loyalty.
Before testing new member engagement ideas, it’s helpful to know exactly what we mean by member engagement. Member engagement is the frequency and style of how you connect with your members. From newsletters, Real Men Magazine, and other communications to event planning and networking opportunities, member engagement is about building and nurturing relationships with your target audience. The ultimate goal is to gain and retain more members for your organization by demonstrating the value your membership offers them.
My question to anyone who joins boards or organizations is, why did you join? Did you enter to brag about a position you hold? Or do you commit to giving back?
Cleveland Museum of Natural History presents Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Days
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History illuminates the natural world and inspires visitors to engage with the scientific forces that shape their lives. Since its founding in 1920, the Museum has pioneered scientific research to advance knowledge across diverse fields of study and used its outstanding collections, which have grown to encompass more than five million artifacts and specimens, to engage the public with the dynamic connections between humans and the world around us. Through its Natural Areas Program, the Museum stewards more than 12,000 acres of protected ecosystems across northern Ohio. A community gathering place, educational center, and research institution, CMNH is a vital resource that serves the Cleveland community and the nation.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is now offering free admission every Sunday to Cleveland and East Cleveland residents through the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Days. This program is funded by a $3 million grant from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, which is also supporting the creation of a new community space in the Museum’s education wing.
Do what builds a better future.
100 Black Men, Cleveland Chapter Honored For Work In The Community
The 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. chapter for 2022 has focused on a focus of being more visible in the community. While we will always practice implementing the Four For The Future Programs, we have been working on building more partners and supporters in the community.
On October 22, 2022, we were honored for our hard work in the community by The East Cleveland Concert Series led by Twon Billings. “I just wanted to show the 100 Black Men how
much they mean to the Cleveland area, said Twon. In 1963, a group of African American leaders in New York began to meet to support and advise their community. The group adopted the name 100 Black Men as a symbol of solidarity. This idea was soon duplicated in New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Cleveland, Ohio.
Since 1997, the 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. has followed its mission of providing services for African Americans in urban Cleveland and East Cleveland neighborhoods.
A mentor is someone that truly understands you. Someone that spends time to get to know you so that they can bring the best out of you. Someone you call or text while sharing your inner feelings with knowing they’re not going to judge you.”
“100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland, Inc. Chief Magistrate Gregory Clifford mentoring to school students