for Black Male Achievement, National Cares Mentoring Movement, and The Black
Star Project Kick off "MLK Mentor Day" on Monday, January 19
200 Cities and
Tens of Thousands of Youth Will
the Largest Black Male
in the Nation
For Immediate Release
January 16, 2015 - Chicago, IL -
In an effort to raise awareness around the challenges and opportunities facing
today's African American men and boys, the Coalition for Black Male Achievement
will sponsor the first-ever "MLK Mentor Day" on Monday, January 19th.
A joint initiative between the
Campaign for Black Male Achievement, National Cares Mentoring Movement and The
Black Star Project, "MLK Mentor Day" will kick off in more than 200 cities
across the U.S. and Canada. Throughout the MLK holiday weekend, mentoring
sessions will be held at local elementary and high schools, colleges and
universities, faith-based, community and youth organizations, fraternities, and
other institutions across the country to connect Black males with quality
mentorship opportunities and support.
According to the National Cares Mentoring Movement, the
role of mentorship to improve life outcomes for today's youth has become
crucial. At a time when the health and safety of Black men and boys in the
United States is in a state of crisis, the MLK Mentor Day initiative is a
critical and timely effort to meaningfully impact their lives and encourage a
positive life trajectory for their futures.
"Mentorship is key to ensuring
that Black men and boys have the quality resources and support they need to
thrive and live strong, healthy and productive lives," said Shawn Dove, CEO of
the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA). "As we celebrate the legacy and
impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, it is
crucial that we continue the work of investing in our young people so that they
may live up to their greatest potential and advance the possibilities of black
male achievement for future generations."
Mentors participating in the
first-ever "MLK Mentor Day" will engage mentees in various educational and
uplifting activities, including one-on-one mentorship, workshops, speaker
presentations, film screenings, spoken-word performances, worship services,
community service and other academic, cultural and community-building
activities. Afterward, all mentees will be awarded special certificates to mark
their successful participation in the initiative.
Susan L. Taylor
first-ever MLK Mentor Day is a powerful demonstration of how
organizations throughout the
nation can combine our efforts to ensure that Black boys thrive," said Susan L.
Taylor, Founder and CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief
Emeritus, Essence Magazine. "With the passion and courage exemplified by Dr.
King, community leaders are coming together to repair the village. The cries of
our children, targeted and traumatized, have awakened us. We will win the war
between caring and catastrophe! This first King Day focused on mentoring heralds
a needed new beginning."
For more information on how to
become involved with the Coalition for Black Male Achievement's "MLK Mentor
Day", please visit www.blackstarproject.org or call
About the Campaign for Black Male Achievement
The Campaign for Black Male
Achievement (CBMA) is a leading national membership network of 1,877
organizations and 3,043 leaders working to improve the life outcomes for black
men and boys at the local, regional, and national level. www.BlackMaleAchievement.org
About National Cares Mentoring
National CARES Mentoring Movement
is dedicated to recruiting and connecting mentors with local youth-serving and
mentoring organizations to help guide struggling Black children to academic and
social success, and to closing the huge gap between the relatively few Black
mentors and millions of our vulnerable children. www.caresmentoring.org
About The Black Star Project
The Black Star Project works to
improve the quality of life in Black and Latino communities of Chicago and
nationwide by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap. Its mission is
to provide educational services that help pre-school through college students
succeed academically and become knowledgeable and productive citizens with the
support of their parents, families, schools and communities. www.blackstarproject.org
Mentor Day - Fairfield, Alabama
Mentor Day in El Sobrante, California
Mentor Day - Bridgeport, Connecticut
church hosts Take
a Young Black Man to Worship event
Pastor Jovan Davis of Ebenezer Baptist
Church delivered his sermon the "The Importance of Faith," during services on
Sunday morning in Englewood. (Photo by Amy
January 18, 2015
ENGLEWOOD - Hopeton and Tchelinda
Burrell go to Sunday services at Ebenezer Baptist Church every week, but their
teenage sons attend less frequently.
On Sunday, the Burrells' sons,
Cosmo and Kyshawn Hawkins, were sitting in the pews as part of the church's
first "Take a Young Black Man to Worship."
"It's hard to get young men to church,'' said Tchelinda
Burrell of Englewood after the service ended Sunday. "But it's important for
young black men to stay in the church. I know my sons believe in God, but being
in the house of the Lord is so much better."
Although Sunday's icy and rainy
weather contributed to low participation in the event, Pastor Jovan T. Davis
said there may be more to come. Encouraging young black men to go to church, he
said, takes on a stronger significance at a time when the nation is debating the
state of race relations in America and protests denouncing police violence
involving black men continue.
"This is to let our young
brothers know that they have a family here, that we are welcoming and that we
want them to know that we are here for them,'' he said. "The whole purpose was
to really just engage them and hopefully to make an impact in their lives and to
let them know there's a safe haven here at Ebenezer."
"Take a Young Black Man to
Worship" days have been held across the nation at houses of worship for the past
three years, but this is the first year that it's being held the day before the
country marks the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, said Phillip Jackson,
executive director of the Black Star Project, a non-profit organization based in
Chicago. The organization urged places of worship to invite young men to their
services as part of the first Martin Luther King Jr. Mentor weekend.
"Worship at a church, a mosque, a
synagogue, a temple,'' Jackson said. "You can take a young black male to the
lake, to the park, and just meditate, but Sunday is a day of spirituality."
Cosmo Hawkins, 16, a sophomore at Dwight-Morrow High
School, said that he attended church regularly when he was younger but that he
doesn't know why he doesn't go to church every Sunday now. He said the idea of
bringing a young man to worship was "cool."
"It was a chance for guys and men
our age to experience this,'' he said.