It's an organization that serves more than 700 youth through mentoring-based educational programs. They have 130 dedicated members, with diverse backgrounds and experiences. They are 100 Black Men of Indianapolis.
100 Black Men of America was formed in 1963, and the Indianapolis chapter was established in 1984. Their goal is to strengthen youth developmental programs and the collective partnerships with communities and schools, and positively impact the mental, physical, moral and spiritual development of young people. The organization has six key programs that impact the community. Those programs include: the African-American History program, Beautillion Militaire, Scholastic Sports Academy, Summer Academy and a financial literacy program.
Executive Director, Murvin Enders, said, "We don't put more emphasis on one program in particular. We emphasize all of the programs because they're all effective for young people, especially if they participate in multiple programs as they grow into a young adult. If they participate in more than one of the programs, we feel we've really made an impact."
Of those programs, Enders said, "Beautillion Militaire is an outstanding program for college preparation, and last year, 135 students enrolled in the Summer Academy program, and 50 students were on the waiting list. Students wanted to be a part of the program, but we didn't want to compensate their quality learning experience for a small staff."
100 Black Men continues to improve and grow their programs. Their team-mentoring program currently serves fifth and sixth-grade boys, but the staff is working to also include second and third-graders. "Long-term commitment is what we need. We want younger men involved because they're closer in age to the students. We're looking to recruit college mentors, and current members can prepare them for mentoring the younger students," said Enders.
There are several upcoming events for 100 Black Men. The African-American History competition will be on March 10, 2012, at the Indiana Historical Society. On March 12, students will share their financial literacy portfolios at the competition at the University of Indianapolis. On Saturday, March 24, the Beautillion Militaire Scholarship dinner will be held at the Marriott. Support 100 Black Men and Indianapolis youth!
— Katie Rethlake, communications intern, United Way of Central Indiana