100 Black Men of America is a men's civic organization and service club whose stated goal is to educate and empower African-American children and teens. As of 2009 the organization has 110 chapters and more than 10,000 members in different cities in the United States and throughout the world. The organization's mission statement is "to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans." The organization’s mottos "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, as well as people from other walks of life.
The initial idea for 100 Black Men of America was conceived in New York in 1963 by a group of African American professionals who wanted to improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for the black community by fostering better education and youth development. Elements of the organization’s creed that date from this era (“e.g. no member shall be without transportation, no member shall be without legal representation, etc.”) provide some insight into the challenges faced by many African American organizations during the height of the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960s. Some of the early members were David Dinkins and Jackie Robinson.
By 1976 a separate chapter was formed in New Jersey and before 1983 other chapters formed in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, Nassau/Suffolk, Alton, and Sacramento. Between 1983 and 1986 these chapters held several national conferences with the aim of forming a national organization. 100 Black Men of America was officially debuted in Atlanta, Georgia on May 27, 1987. The first international chapters were chartered in 1987. As of 2009 the organization had grown to over 10,000 members.
In 2012, Curley M. Dossman, Jr. was elected the fifth President/Chairman of the Board, along with Dr. Joshua W. Murfree, Jr. (Vice Chairman of Operations), Dr. Howard Rasheed (Vice Chairman of Programs), Marvin Dickerson (Vice Chairman of Development), Milton Jones (Vice of Finance), and Dr. Mark Alexander (Secretary).
100 Black Men consists of over 118 local chapters (each named after their respective region, e.g., 100 Black Men of New York, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, etc.) 100 Black Men of America is the overarching organization that provides a national governing structure, charters new chapters, and provides for inter-chapter coordination. 100 Black Men is a non-profit 501 c3 organization and has no political or religious affiliations or ties.
Membership procedures vary by chapter; generally speaking members can apply to a local chapter at specific times of the year. Candidates are screened and then interviewed by a panel to ensure that individuals have the character and standing to serve as community role models and youth mentors. Members generally refer to the organization simply as “The 100.”
100 Black Men has four principal program areas: Mentoring, Education, Health and Wellness, Economic Development. As of 2009, 100 Black Men has roughly 100,000 students enrolled in its mentoring and outreach programs.Mentoring The organization provides youth mentoring that addresses the emotional and cultural needs of African American children aged 8 – 18. Members are trained to become mentors and advocates for youth who may have few or no other positive role models in their communities. Programs vary from chapter to chapter and range from informal one-on-one mentoring programs to complete youth academies.
Education Seeks to provide support services to schools and educators in the form of volunteerism, “teacher for a day” programs and extracurricular activities. This element also works to influence policy set at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure that all youth have equal access to education.
Health and Wellness The organization has extensive programs which are designed to encourage physical fitness and healthy eating habits among youth as well as increasing public awareness of the specific health issues and risks facing African Americans (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, sickle cell, etc.). 100 Black Men hosts numerous track meets, athletic events, public outreach and health screening events.
Economic Development Seeks to empower African American individuals and enterprises through financial literacy training, small business training and seminars, as well as forums to connect African American businesses with each other and to the larger community as a whole.
In 2015, the 100 Black Men of America became an active partner of the Celebration Bowl held in Atlanta, GA.
In 2009, several leaders of the organization were interviewed by CNN’s T.J. Holmes to discuss their views on President Barack Obama’s first 100 days as US president. 100 Black Men’s Health and Wellness programs were the subject of a news story feature by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta About how former Surgeon General David Satcher is leading a charge to promote healthy eating among African American youth. CNN also featured a video article on 100 Black Men of Atlanta’s youth “Robotics Team” that is competing on a national and international level.
According to an August 27, 2007, article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 100 Black Men of Western Pennsylvania teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University to provide a 14-week summer program for teenagers to learn about computer science. During the program, which was free to participants, the teenagers learned the basics of computer science, information technology, and the World Wide Web. This is the seventh summer that this program has taken place.
According to a July 9, 2006, article in The New York Times, the 100 Black Men of Long Island Development Group purchased a building that takes up an entire city block. The building used to be a bus terminal. The organization has proposed converting the building into affordable housing, and housing for people with disabilities. Questions about the organization's ability to fund such a project have been raised, however.
According to a May 24, 2004, article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Bay Area (San Francisco) chapter signed a pledge not to accept funding from tobacco companies.David Dinkins
The Hon. James E. Graves, Jr.
Bishop Eddie L. Long
Jackie Robinson (deceased)
David Satcher, Former US Surgeon General
William Thompson (New York)
The Hon. Kendrick Meek
The Hon. Charles Rangel
The Hon. Eric Holder
J. Bruce Llewellyn (deceased)
Cyril deGrasse Tyson (founding member)