Insights: Indiana | Community | Spring 2018

100 Black Men of America: Youth mentoring program

100 Black Men empowers youth through mentorships and educational programs

In 1963, a group of African-American men came together in New York City to brainstorm solutions to challenges faced by their community. Since that first meeting of 100 Black Men of America Inc. (The 100), the nonprofit organization has expanded to nearly 100 chapters around the United States and abroad, including the Indianapolis chapter, founded in 1984.

What 100 Black Men does

With the motto, What They See is What They’ll Be, The 100 partners with local schools to impact the lives of young men and women with programs that encourage education, wellness, economic empowerment and leadership development.

 “We have over 200 members who enjoy young people and are willing to share nuggets of wisdom to help them succeed, says Executive Director Ontay Johnson. “We are always looking for new volunteers to help us carry out our mission.”

How it helps

The 100’s positive results are demonstrated in many ways.

  • Last year’s Beautillion Militaire program for high school juniors and seniors, culminating in a formal dinner, raised $185,000 in scholarships for the 49 participants.
  • The annual Dollars and $ense Financial Literacy Program for high school students raised $36,000 in scholarships for the 21 participants.
  • Young adults who benefited from The 100 are returning as mentors, investing quality time in the next generation.
  • One hundred percent of students who participated in the Beautillion Militaire and/or the Dollars and $ense Financial Literacy Program graduated high school in 2017.
  • A six-week Summer Academy combats the summer learning slide for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“It is exciting when I see our young people make good life choices and become productive members of society,” Johnson says.

Johnson says the organization’s success depends on strong community ties, such as its relationship with Huntington. “Huntington has provided financial support, and their Connecting with Community PSA spots have helped showcase the young people we mentor,” he says. “During our financial literacy program, team members from Huntington also open up savings accounts for our participants.”

About the organization

  • Name: 100 Black Men of Indianapolis Inc.
  • Website: www.100blackmenindy.org
  • City: Indianapolis
  • Phone: (317) 921-1276
  • Mission: Men giving real time to positively impact the development and outcomes of youth in our communities
  • How you can help: To learn about opportunities for mentoring, volunteering or fundraising with 100 Black Men, call (317) 921-1276.