Lafayette Be the Change Spotlight :: Introducing 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette
This month for our “Be the Change Spotlight,” we’d like to introduce you to 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette, Inc. (100 BMOGL), an organization who is committed to improving the quality of life for citizens in their community, particularly the Black youth, by supporting and enhancing lives through educational and economic opportunities.
How 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette got started
Chartered in 2009, The 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette is a local chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, primarily a mentoring organization with a community focus on education, economic empowerment, and health and wellness. With a desire to bring Black men together (although they have had non-black members), it was formed by twenty-five leaders of the black community from different social, economic, occupational and educational backgrounds whose common thread is the uplifting of the community as it relates to the four pillars. In 1986, the national organization of the 100 Black Men of America was formed to consolidate numerous independent chapters with a common goal to improve their respective communities.
What 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette does
100 BMOGL provides mentorship in a variety of ways to youths in hopes of developing, encouraging, and supporting positive life-long goals. Their program is based upon their National Campaign “Four for the Future” which identifies four key areas critical to achieving the 100’s commitment to developing leaders and ensuring the future of young African American males.
- Mentoring :: Mentoring is the foundation of 100 BMOGL. The 100 has been mentoring from its inception working with then-Sheriff Mike Neustrom at the old J.W. James complex with at-risk juveniles to a partnership with David Thibodeaux Tech for four years where they mentored a cohort of 9th graders through graduation to their latest mentoring efforts at Lafayette Middle School for the last 3 years. Their members have also been involved in one-on-one mentorships dedicated to improving the lives of their mentees. Their latest endeavor, in 2020 was a partnership with Lafayette Parks and Recreation’s 3L Project: Learn, Laugh, and Live, which is a life skills program for young kids.
- Health & Wellness :: Health disparities within the black community are of serious concern. In an attempt to make an impact, they have sponsored numerous Health Fairs with local hospitals, medical clinics and doctors addressing conditions such as high blood pressure, colon/prostate cancer, stroke, diabetes, and general health care. For the last 5 years, they have partnered with Louisiana Black Nurses Association and State Representative Vincent Pierre to bring awareness to the diseases that affect the Greater Lafayette area and to inform the community about healthy lifestyles though annual health fairs.
- Economic Empowerment :: 100 BMOGL has teamed up with State Farm for 3 years through the Dollars & Sense® Investment Education Program which is a 12-week program designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to learn and apply best practice strategies for saving and investing and exploring basic investment options and processes, reinforced through hands-on learning experience.
- Education :: The 100 BMOGL embarked on a progressive campaign to improve the educational experiences of African Americans and other minority students in the Lafayette Parish School System within two years of our establishment. Educational leaders within The 100 knew that a collaborative effort would be needed to produce positive changes that would aid in reducing the achievement gap and dropout rates PLUS improving reading levels and graduation rates. Out of the 100 BMOGL, the Lafayette Parish Public Stakeholders Council (LAPESC) was born which brought together like-minded independent education groups to discuss ideas for educational improvements. 100 BMOGL was instrumental in the recruitment and selection of then-School Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper. They fought to keep N.P. Moss open prior to it being renamed David Thibodeaux Tech. They recently partnered with School Board member Elroy Broussard in LPSS’ latest coat drive for needy students.
How can you support the 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette
100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette, Inc. relies on the support of individuals, volunteers, private foundations and corporations to carry out its mission. Your contribution will make a difference in helping 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette, Inc. empower children and build stronger communities. You can donate HERE.
What is next for 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette
In 2021, they anticipate the development of the Youth Leadership Academy to be named after the late Dr. Raphael Baranco, a pioneer within the black community. They are developing a pilot program to assist youths involved in the criminal justice system in partnership with the Juvenile Court System, other non-profits and individuals. From an educational perspective, they are interested in the location of a new Northside Lafayette Parish Library that was approved for funding in 2019.
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