Who We Are - 100 Black Men of Valdosta
100 Black Men of Valdosta, Inc. received its charter on July 12, 1995 at the Ninth Annual National Convention of 100 Black Men of America. The Valdosta Chapter represents the 56 chartered affiliate of 100 Black Men of America. 100 Black Men of Valdosta seeks to channel the energy of young people in a positive direction; hopefully, down a path of their own choosing. They must be inspired by our dedication, strengthened by our resolve and motivated by our efforts and accomplishments. Our mentors are leaders in the community. Our members are men who have obtained a certain degree of success in their own right, and realize the value of hard work. Our members have faced and overcome adversity, and are willing to dedicate time and effort to steer local youth in a positive direction.
The organization has undertaken several charitable efforts. Among them is our participation in several events in the local school system, a Thanksgiving Food Fest for the needy and a Black History Quiz Bowl team, an annual Black Tie Banquet and a Black History Artifacts Exhibit. The Food Fest is held near Thanksgiving and is co-sponsored with the Valdosta Salvation Army. Annually over one thousand needy individuals are treated with our Thanksgiving culinary delights. Additionally, our volunteers deliver Thanksgiving Day meals to the elderly who are unable to prepare meals or who otherwise may not receive a hot nutritious dinner on that day. The Thanksgiving Food Fest has continued uninterrupted since 1995. At the 21st Annual Food Fest over twelve hundred meals were served. Several individuals and groups of volunteers participated, including Churches, Civil Groups, and individuals.
Another part of our mandated purpose is to promote higher education. To this end, we have established a scholarship endowment. Our scholarship fund was created to help defray the cost of going to college for needy students. Funds for the scholarship program and other events have generated an enormous amount of positive exposure for 100 Black Men of Valdosta. The inaugural fund-raising event for 100 Black Men of Valdosta, Inc., was held on August 19, 1995 at the Valdosta Mathis City Auditorium. Several hundred individuals braved a torrential down pour to hear the featured speaker, Martin Luther King, III. Mr. King’s speech focused on youth and the need to nurture them in today’s times.
Our second major production was the First Annual “Black Tie Dinner”. The featured speaker was the Honorable Robert Benham, Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court of Georgia. Chief Justice Benham delivered a thought provoking discourse to a very receptive audience. This event was a complete sell out which had several local dignitaries and officials in attendance. Since the 1995 Black Tie Program, speakers for the Black Tie have included, Governor Sonny Perdue, United States District Court Judge W. Louis Sands, Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes and actress Victoria Rowell.
100 Black Men of American History
The first chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. was founded in 1963. The organization was initially a loose association of nine independent groups located in different metropolitan areas. Successful businessmen from a variety of social, educational, and economic sectors came together for a common purpose – to make a difference in the lives of African American youth and their communities. In 1986, these groups joined forces to create a national non-profit federation now known as 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
Since its founding, the “100” has grown to 106 Chapters with approximately 10,000 African American men committed to the organization’s founding mission- to enhance the quality of life in African American communities by improving the educational, economic and social status of African-Americans. The organization now serves more than 125,000 youth annually through its mentoring, training and development programs.