By Special to the Daily World
PRNewswire-USNewswire — San Francisco will play host to 100 Black Men of America Inc. (The 100) and the mentoring organization’s 25th Anniversary Annual Conference from June 9-12. The 2011 conference will mark the 25th anniversary of The 100’s national incorporation; as an organization it is nearing 50 years of service to the community.
Since incorporating in 1986, The 100 has established itself as the nation’s leading organization for pairing at-risk youth with African-American male mentors for multiyear commitments of guidance through their grade school education and beyond.
Additionally, the organization’s 116 chapters around the world deliver mentoring programs and workshops that educate their communities in the areas of education, health and wellness, leadership development, and economic empowerment.
This year’s annual conference promises to be more than a corporate gathering of the best in business, politics, education and medicine. Members of The 100, members of Collegiate 100 (the university extension), their families and mentees will gather to assess the triumphs of the previous year and discuss strategies for making an even greater impact in the communities they serve in the years ahead.
Admission for the general public to the 100 Black Men of America’s Annual Conference is available at www.100BlackMen.org.
This year’s scheduled conference workshops include discussions on effective mentoring, eliminating the AIDS pandemic, influencing education policy, health and wellness programs and policies, and balancing family with work and volunteerism. Keynote speakers include the CEO and Chairman of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, renowned motivational speaker Sekou Andrews, public figures from the state of California and longtime international sponsors.
And while in the Bay Area, the organization will collectively leave its mark on Oakland with the Community Empowerment Project on Saturday, June 11 at McClymonds High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year the 100 will offer free workshops and activities for youth and families: financial education, health and fitness sessions, and literacy reading circles, just to name a few. “It is great that the host chapters have the support of the entire organization for big projects like this that make such a difference in lives of so many” says Dr. Mark Alexander, president of 100 Black Men of the Bay Area.
The annual conference also includes programming for mentees, such as workshops on college admissions, the effects of hip-hop imagery and steps to reaching financial goals.
Every year there are youth competitions including the State Farm Dollars & $ense Financial Portfolio Competition, which tests their financial acumen, and the African American History Challenge, also presented by State Farm. Both competitions provide opportunities for mentees to win scholarships.
Ron Brown, president of the Silicon Valley chapter says, “The annual conference was historically only for members, but over the years has expanded to engage our mentees and the public on a deeper level. Of course, we want to inspire them with informative programs, but we hope they have a little fun in the process.”
Hip-hop trailblazer Doug E. Fresh, jazz chanteuse Ledisi, and R&B legend Alexander O’Neal will provide entertainment for conference attendees, as well as a special surprise chart-topper.
The annual conference kicks off the fiscal year and serves to define the organization’s goals and objectives. At last year’s conference, Chairman of the Board Albert E. Dotson Jr. issued an executive order calling for greater community outreach. As a result, the 100’s membership topped 10,000, and more than 100,000 youth were engaged internationally over the last year. The 25th anniversary is a landmark that will be celebrated throughout the week, while remembering to focus on the future and progression of the mentoring movement.
“Our first 25 years have been rewarding on many levels and I look forward to the years to come,” said Dotson.