Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, Cherry Collier, Ph.D. and Board Member James Duke Speak Words of Destiny and Illuminated the Future Work of the 100 During Day 1 Sessions.

The first official day of the 38th Annual Conference for the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. instilled inspiration into Members from 100 Black Men Chapters and the Board of Directors. A pre-conference Board meeting and chapter future-focused workshops were delivered prior to the conference opening. Concurrent Capacity Building sessions delved into the very weighty issue of mentee/mentor relationships and the basics of grant writing.

Afternoon sessions helped members understand more about psychology – their own and those of fellow members. Board Member James Duke, from the Indianapolis, IN chapter moderated a panel that shared success strategies for keeping members involved. The “Capacity Building Workshop on Member Retention” had a panel of four explain what they did to keep members engaged. Joshua Byrd from the Atlanta, GA chapter, Muhammed Nadhiri from the Bay Area (San Francisco) and Khephra Rakhu from the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) joined Collegiate 100 Member Ivy Nganga from Oglethorpe University to discuss how to keep members mentally committed to the organization and emotionally attached.

On the other side of the hotel, members attending the session entitled “Leadership with a Global Footprint” heard words of wisdom from a living legend. Former Atlanta Mayor, United States Ambassador and life-long Civil Rights icon, Rev. Dr. Andrew Young, member and supporters in the room a phrase that resonated with each person.

“The 100 Black Men are an anchor in this society,” he told the Leadership Institute cohort.

Young shared that profound statement after the men had achieved a renewed and elevated level of self-awareness. This journey was facilitated by a psychologist who specializes in emotional intelligence, neuroscience and leadership development. Dr. Cherry Collier spent nearly four hours helping the men assess themselves so they could understand why having a firm understanding of their own identity could help them build a solid reputation.

“Your identity defines who you are, and you get to choose that every day,” she said. “Your reputation is what we think. You get to choose how we see you and ultimately, that becomes what we think of you,” Dr. Collier told the men. She also noted that all of them put a lot of pressure on themselves, because they wanted to do the right thing and be successful. Dr. Collier cautioned them to not make that type of pressure an ongoing burden.

“Give yourself grace.”

The 38th Annual Conference: Future-Proofing Our Youth, Members and Communities was held in Atlanta, GA. The host hotel was the Atlanta Hyatt Regency. The conference ran from June 12 – 16, 2024.

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Telain Ware
100 Black Men of America, Inc.
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