The 100BMC is Chicago’s pre-eminent organization focused on mentoring African American youth. The organization pairs African American youth with successful and accomplished Professional Men and Women offering Youth Mentoring and Community Programs throughout the Greater Chicagoland area.
Can you tell us more about what the 100 BMC is and stands for?
100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. provides positive role models for African-American males throughout the Greater Chicago area by pairing them with successful African-American professionals committed to the intellectual development of youth and the economic empowerment of the African-American community based on the following principles: Respect for Family, Spirituality, Justice, and Integrity.
What motivated you to want to be a part of the 100 BMC organization?
We wanted to join other successful professionals who have dedicated their lives to mentor young men in our communities. We desire to exhibit our national mantra, which is “What they see, is what they’ll be.”
When the 100 BMC organization 22 years ago in 1997, did you think it would be what it is today?
Great vision provides a glimpse of the future, but action is what takes an organization into the future. We had no idea that the vision of our Chicago founders would swell into the positive impact we are having on Chicago, as well as the respect that we have garnered after these years.
From the launch of the 100 BMC to now, how can you say the organization has changed or grown?
We are now a chapter with over 100 active members who are able to carry out the initiatives that will help our mentees and community through Education, Economic Empowerment, Health & Wellness, Public Policy, and as of course, our cornerstone, Mentoring.
Where would you like to see the organization in 5 or 10 years from now?
We would like to see an expanded number of mentee sites, for which we can be more accessible to the community. We also envision having a school that is dedicated to the values of the 100 Black Men of Chicago, with a graduation and a college acceptance rate that is the envy of similar organizations.
Have you ever considered a 100BMC organization (100 Black Woman of Chicago)? Why or why not?
There is currently a 100 Black Women of America, and they are responsible for launching chapters in the areas where they feel that they would have the most impact.
With the gala on days away, what can we expect this year at the 22nd Annual 100 BMC Gala?
This event is always considered to be our opportunity to highlight the mentees who have been actively involved in our programs, focusing on scholarships, as well as recognizing sponsor and community leaders who have made significant contributions to causes that help to advance the opportunities available to the youth of Chicago.
What’s next for the organization?
We aim to be a $2M+ organization, affording us the opportunity to reach more students with our services and scholarships, as well as building upon the success of our highly successful College Scholarship Fair, Annual Health Expo and Holiday Toy Drive. As we continue to recruit qualified individuals who serve as mentors, we are excited about the time, talents and treasures that they are able to bring to our local chapter, to help us to carry out our mission statement.
How can people get involved or join the organization as a mentor or donate to the cause?
Visit our website to learn more about our organization, upcoming events, getting involved as a Mentor, as well as donating to help us continue in our efforts to help shape the lives of our youth.
All images by LaVern Danley