Three representatives attend the Mentoring Summit.
The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. officially celebrates National Mentoring Month by sending representatives to attend the 2024 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, D.C. James Duke, the At Large Director of Operations for the 100 Black Men of America, Brian Willis, the incoming Mentoring Chair and Willie Beverly, from the 100’s Prince George County chapter have registered to be a part of the 2024 National Mentoring Summit which started on Tuesday, January 24.
The Summit is hosted by MENTOR (also known as National Mentoring Partnership), based in Boston, MA, and has been held annually for over twelve years. MENTOR was founded in 1990 by Wall Street businesspeople Ray Chambers and Geoff Biosi. The organization’s goals include expanding opportunities for young people and serving as the experts and go-to resource on quality mentoring. For decades, mentoring has been a core component of all 100 Black Men of America chapters. Duke is based in Indianapolis, IN, and says his chapter has several programs that have worked so well that, in some cases, two generations of families have benefited.
“We are intentional and specific about engaging with the young people we’re trying to serve. We do not allow them to be negative about what they say or do in our presence. One of the things that we tell them when we first interact with them is that we can’t guarantee that you’ll be successful. But we can guarantee that we will equip you with the tools to be successful,” he said.
He takes the 100’s “Mentoring across a Lifetime” concept seriously. He has collected the contact information for nearly 1,000 mentees during his decades of working with the 100 Black Men of America in Indianapolis. He says sometimes he’ll see a name from a former mentee while looking for someone else and take the extra few seconds to text.
“I’ll just say, hey, I ran across your name and just wanted to wish you well. And I started having former mentees text back messages like, “Mr. Duke, I don’t understand how right on time that was when you reached out because, like, you know, I was struggling with some stuff, and you know, you reach out, let me know somebody is on my side out there,” he said.
Mentoring the 100 Way is based on the copyrighted concept of: “What They See is What They’ll Be”©. It should be noted that although the National Mentoring Partnership was founded in 1990 and National Mentoring Month started in 2002, none predate the 100 established in 1963.