Welcome to the Black self help organization information website.
The goal of this website is to list information about national and local organizations that are focusing on issues in the American Black community.
Actor, comedian turned media mogul and philanthropist--Steve Harvey--takes on another exciting role by joining the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Program. His strong commitment to mentoring is a great complement to the movement that uncaps a world of possibilities for the next generation.
Steve Harvey partners with the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program to offer an apprenticeship experience to two well-deserving youth. (Photo: Business Wire)
Marking year three, the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program will offer once-in-a-lifetime apprenticeship experiences to African American youth looking to pave the way for their futures. Under the umbrella of the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, the talk show host and best-selling author will offer two apprenticeship experiences. The experiences will focus on the areas of philanthropy/community and media/entertainment.
Partnering with the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program builds on Harvey's long-term commitment to mentoring youth. For the past five years, the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation has hosted mentoring camps for young African-American men. The camps promote educational enrichment, one-on-one mentoring and global service initiatives. The program impacts 100 youth in five cities across the country.
"The Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program and the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation have a common goal. We want to improve, enrich, uplift and inspire young people. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about, " said Steve Harvey. "Working together, we can change far more lives than we ever could imagine doing on our own."
A group of African-American men is investing hundreds of hours a month to mentor dozens of young black male students in Albemarle County. The school system is also developing new partnerships to create more mentoring programs countywide.
Members of the 100 Black Men of central Virginia work one-on-one to mentor about 80 middle school boys in Albemarle County schools. Some of those mentors joined their students for lunch at Burley Middle School Wednesday afternoon to catch up on schoolwork and home life.
Each mentor commits to spending at least 10 hours a month with the boys they're helping to become responsible young men.
“Because of the nature of what we do and the outcome we expect it to bring, you can't trivialize the time you spend with the young people,” said Xavier Jackson, a mentor.
The Albemarle County school system tracks the success of these programs, and says mentors improve students' attendance, grades, and goals for the future.
“It's all about giving quality time with a group of students on a regular basis. But you're also tracking the performance and impact of your mentoring time you're giving to the young people,” said Bernard Hairston, executive director of community engagement for Albemarle County Public Schools.
This is just one of the mentor programs in Albemarle County schools. The school system's goal this year is to form partnerships with volunteer groups and respected members of the community to create more mentorship programs.
For the third year, the 100 Black Men and Coalition of 100 Black Women organizations joined forces to raise money to buy toys and presents for Clark County schoolchildren, through a Christmas party Dec. 6 at The Venetian. More than 300 people attended.
Pauling said the 100 Black Men focus on mentoring, education, economic empowerment, health and wellness. He added that the mission is to serve the community. The group’s motto is, “What they see is what they’ll be,” when it comes to mentoring the children.
The Coalition of 100 Black Women also mentors in Clark County schools, advocates programs to place women in corporate positions, and conducts seminars on HIV, economic development and finance.
100 Black Women President Allen said both organizations plan to partner on more programs in the future, given this project’s success.
Under the theme: Optimizing Health and Wellness: Body, Mind and Spirit, more than 2,100 attendees, including many youth, heard experts on panels and in workshops, learned about new mentoring and education techniques, and recognized best practices to improve health personally and in their communities.
“Health and wellness is crucial to the youth we serve through our ‘Mentoring the 100 Way Across a Lifetime.’ Our efforts, that also include education and economic empowerment, are not nearly as effective if the youth we mentor are not healthy and well,” said Curley M. Dossman, Jr., chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
“So we are intensifying our efforts to raise the consciousness of the state of health in the African American community, and enhancing our programs’ impact in this area.”
The health state of African Americans was put in the spotlight since there is greater incidence of prostate cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and HIV/AIDS for them versus the general population. Further, African Americans are more likely to die from heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke than Caucasians. Obesity and high blood pressure are also significant issues that are affecting Black youth.
In his conference keynote address, Dr. John E. Maupin Jr., president of Morehouse School of Medicine, challenged the audience to help change the health and wellness culture of the African American community saying, “We are out of balance, out of order, and almost out of time.”
Brandon Brown has no problem shaking hands with a stranger and talking about something near and dear to him: being a Big Brother mentor to his Little Brother Robert.
Brown takes his involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati a step further, volunteering on the agency’s African American recruitment board. Their latest campaign to recruit African American men to volunteer as Big Brothers might seem unique: they reached out to Tri-State barbershops and asked to drop off information about volunteering that the shops could share with customers. Then, on a Saturday in October, Big Brothers and their Little Brothers, along with recruitment staff from the agency, spent time at the barbershops talking with customers about getting involved as a mentor.
Brown talked with customers at Preferred Cutz in North College Hill. Some of them worried that being a mentor would take too much time. He says, “I told them that the time can be ‘customized’ to their lifestyle. In the site-based program, it’s one day a week for an hour. This worked for many guys because they lead busy lives. We all do.”
Being a Big Brother himself, Brown could tell the men at Preferred Cutz that they might find they get a lot out of being a Big Brother. He told us, “Knowing that my Little Brother Robert is expecting me each week drives me. Recently, we were talking and I asked him who he admired and he included me in the line-up because I ‘had his back.’ That was priceless!”
At the end of the day, 17 men at Preferred Cutz asked for more information about becoming a Big Brother.
Concerned Black Men (CBM) Program Manager Lance Dennis sat at a table Tuesday in the multipurpose room at Montera Middle School going over his lesson plan for the day.
Every Tuesday and Thursday for 45 minutes, Dennis mentors sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade boys with weekly life skills sessions that also address career exploration.
Currently, there are about 15 boys enrolled in the program at each grade level, attending weekly group sessions that address etiquette, healthy eating, exercise, and community service projects.
The program has outside funding and does not cost the school or parents anything to participate.
“We were looking for a school that matched our mission, and Principal Tina Tranzor was very receptive to what we are doing,” said Dennis. “Some of these students are dealing with issues that many adults have to face like domestic disturbances. So we want to empower them and make positive impacts on their lives.”
In a basement room lined with college banners, inside the Five Points Building, staffers, parents and partners celebrated Northside Achievement Zone’s (NAZ) milestone of having 1,300 students enrolled and on track to be college ready.
NAZ, through its Promise Neighborhood is seeking to build a culture of achievement in a geographic zone between 35th Avenue to the north, Penn Avenue to the west, West Broadway to the south and Interstate 94 to the east. Naz’s goal for its Promise Neighborhood is to graduate children college ready and end a cycle of poverty within the north Minneapolis area. And though it was a celebratory atmosphere, Geoffrey Canada, founder of the famed Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc., told staffers the celebration should be short-lived as there is plenty more work to be done.
“We except no excuses for failure,” said Canada, speaking to a room of about 50 staffers, parents and NAZ partners. “Our kids have been failed for too long. People have to do more. You have to double your efforts of what got you to this point. If you keep doing the same, you’ll be in this same place next year. This is the beginning of a process that takes time, but in a community that doesn’t have time to wait.”
Ralikh and his colleagues stay involved because beyond tutoring math – as the name implies – the goal of the Baltimore Algebra Project is empowering city students who may not have otherwise been given a chance. The organization has a dual focus: increasing math literacy and advocating for student rights in the city of Baltimore. Wrapped up in a peer-to-peer tutoring program is an organization fighting daily to raise the socioeconomic status of youth in Baltimore.
Doing so starts by practicing what they preach. First, the Baltimore Algebra Project is youth-run. One hundred percent of its leadership are young people; the oldest, like Ralikh, are in college. While the non-profit has a Board of Directors with adults, the Baltimore Algebra Project – indeed, the national Algebra Project model, founded in the 1980s by civil rights activist and math educator Robert Moses – has functioned with adults working in an advisory capacity.
As the old piece of economic wisdom goes, there’s no better social program for the jobless than simply having a job. This logic applies to young people in Baltimore just as much, if not more, to any other distinct demographic group – according to the Urban Alliance, only 24 percent of youth maintain employment in Baltimore City and most of their jobs are in food service, retail, and administrative fields. Ninety percent of the Baltimore Algebra Project budget goes to paying young people to teach other young people critical math skills.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has announced a new merger with Opportunity Funding Corporation (OFC), which will allow the organization to lead the HBCU community in innovation and entrepreneurship by developing the next generation of African-American entrepreneurs for the 21st century.
For the past 26 years, TMCF has focused its efforts on preparing leaders of tomorrow by placing recent graduates of the country’s HBCUs in good jobs with some of the world’s largest and most well-known employers. By combining resources with OFC, students at TMCF’s member-schools will now have access to opportunities that they will not get from other organizations.
“Entrepreneurs are key to the American enterprise and TMCF will now ensure the HBCU community does its part to guarantee that there is a talented and diverse pipeline of future entrepreneurs,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President and CEO. “The announcement of the TMCF-OFC merger is a very special moment for TMCF because it represents a natural evolution of our business model from that of a purely scholarship granting organization to a business-creating and job-producing one.”
The Opportunity Funding Corporation is a first-of-its-kind entrepreneurial concept aimed at creating successful black-owned businesses to spur economic development in black communities across the country. Since its inception, OFC has played a significant role in incubating companies by serving as the financing vehicle for hundreds of minority entrepreneurs, like BET Founder Bob Johnson and Radio One Founder Cathy Hughes, who have successfully launched nationwide minority business enterprises.
I am in full support of ensuring that we have enough male mentors to do as stated in Aug. 1 Savannah Morning News editorial “Save the males.”
But what I am disturbed about is the notion that there are no Black men pulling their weight in this community. Just because they have not signed up for duty in particular organizations doesn’t mean that contributions are not being made by conscious, concerned and committed Black men.
As a single father of two, I raised my daughter (now 25) on my own and helped to raise my son (almost 27) to successful adulthood. I am not alone.
I have mentored young men in my church; one successfully completed the Youth Challenge Program. I am about to add two more to my list.
The point being is that there is a host of Black men in this community who function as role models, as fathers, as surrogate fathers, as mentors and as support systems. They invest their time, talents and treasures into the lives of young people other than their own.
Just because all of them have not availed themselves in community-based programs doesn’t mean they are not contributing in meaningful ways. Why not interview them and let’s hear their story.
You might have seen the story this week about a controversial new dress code that bans saggy pants on the famous oceanfront boardwalk in Wildwood, N.J. You know the saggy pants syndrome: Jeans or trousers worn so low that you can see the person’s choices in underwear— brand and color, boxers or briefs. Not exactly attractive.
It just so happens that saggy pants is a passion for one Virginia dad. Gil Knowles, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and father of one (Miami TV news reporter Summer Knowles), considers the fad an opportunity to mentor instead of criticize young men who choose to show their behinds.
His book: Help Them Pull Their Pants Up: How Mentors and Communities Can Empower Young African American Men.
For those of you who didn't know of Dr. Ben Carson before his remarks at The Prayer Breakfast... For those of you who want to broadcast the man, NOW, here is some information for you about the Carson Scholars Fund. All emphasis added is mine:
The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. was founded in 1994 to address the education crisis in the United States. When world-renowned Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurosurgeon Benjamin S. Carson, M.D. and his wife, Candy, read a research study about education in the United States, they were alarmed by the findings. The study showed that our nation’s students ranked #21 out of 22 countries; next to the bottom of the list in science and math. Furthermore, the Carsons observed that many school display cases were filled with large trophies paying tribute to their sports teams’ achievements, while honor students only received a pin or certificate.
Dr. and Mrs. Carson felt compelled to take action. They believed that if children could be taught early to excel, they would stay motivated and have a higher chance of educational success later in life. The Carson Scholars Fund was built on these principles.
Carson Scholarships are awarded to students in grades 4-11 who exemplify academic excellence and humanitarian qualities. Winners receive a $1,000 scholarship to be invested toward their college education, along with a recognition package, and an invitation to attend an awards banquet. Carson Scholars become role models and leaders at their schools.
The other children sitting on the carpet in Diana Holley's first-grade classroom at Gilmor Elementary School on Friday wiggled and squirmed and laughed and whispered. But Briana Diggs stayed still.
Her chin rested in the palm of her hands. Her eyes upturned toward the Alpha Kappa Alpha volunteer as she read a story to the children. To Briana, she was the lead character in the book, "Boys Will Be Boys: Briana's Neighborhood."
The act of reading to children, allowing them to see themselves in the stories, and modeling behavior of an engaged adult was the objective for Johnnie Colisha` Searcy, one of 1,000 sorority sisters in Baltimore for the weekend to perform more than a dozen service projects throughout the city.