Friday, January 27, 2012

Mentoring Brothers in Action: Historically Black Fraternities Elevate Partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters to Change the Odds for African-American Boys


Popular Nationally Syndicated Urban Radio Host Michael Baisden Challenges Other Radio Hosts, Celebrities, Corporations and Influencers to Step Up

Atlanta launch event scheduled February 10

In observance of National Mentoring Month and the Martin Luther King Day of Service, Big Brothers Big Sisters and its African American Fraternity Partnership launched Mentoring Brothers in Action, the second phase of their two-year collaborative partnership. According to the press release, the goal of the program is to engage more African American men in fraternal, social, faith-based and professional organizations to get involved in one-to-one mentoring to change the odds for African American boys. Supporting this initiative is popular nationally syndicated urban radio host, Michael Baisden.

“Like so many of our young men, my father also abandoned me so I understand the importance of mentoring. I was fortunate to have uncles and other men in my community to set the right example and to correct me when I was out of line,” said Baisden. “If we want to see different results in our young people we have to invest more into them and show them what is possible. I became a successful writer because I saw successful writers; I became a successful radio personality because I saw successful radio personalities, and so on. If we want to create more successful children we need them to see an example of success and integrity. Success is not an accident, it's something you practice every day in the way you live your life and the way you treat people. Become a mentor today and be that example!”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Co-Chief Executive Officer Max Miller states, “with Mentoring Brothers in Action, we are working with our fraternity partners, bolstered by the support of Michael Baisden -- one of the most prominent and passionate proponents of mentoring -- to bring together our best resources to tackle one of the nation’s most urgent crises. Our goal is to have a positive impact on high school graduation, juvenile justice and economic equity.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters expects Mentoring Brothers in Action to create new and broader pathways to provide mentors for African American boys who disproportionately represent children waiting to be matched with Big Brothers. Participating fraternities include Kappa Alpha Psi, Alpha Phi Alpha and Omega Psi Phi.

Among the initiative’s 2012 activities:

The launch of MentoringBrothers.org, a unique website and social media effort that will enable African American men to be the impetus for dramatically changing the odds for African American boys across the nation. Initially developed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as an African American male mentor recruiting tool, the revamped MentoringBrothers.org will serve as the nation’s central source for in-depth, interactive mentoring resources.

The Mentoring Brothers in Action National Summit: Michael Baisden will headline this Big Brothers Big Sisters summit February 10 in Atlanta, where invited guests include education and mentoring experts; mentors, mentees and supporters. For more information and to RSVP, visit here.

Additional activities include fraternity chapters partnering with local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies to host “friend raisers,” barbershop recruiting drives, Bowl for Kids Sake fundraisers, and other efforts to engage more African American men in mentoring; and supporting fraternity partners in demonstrating measurable outcomes for children who participate in their unique service initiatives and programs, such as Kappa Alpha Psi’s Guide Right, Omega Psi Phi’s Operation Lamp Light and Alpha Phi Alpha’s Project Alpha.

“Mentoring Brothers in Action takes our two-year partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters to the next level. In a powerful demonstration of unity and a deep collective concern for our communities, we are taking accountability for ensuring that African American boys achieve in school and succeed in life. MentoringBrothers.org utilizes the strength of technology and social media, powered by Big Brothers Big Sisters and its longstanding proven mentoring success, to engage African American men across the country to take the lead in changing the odds for our boys,” said Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. President Dr. Andrew A. Ray.

To learn more about the African American Fraternity Partnership and its progress to date, visit http://www.mentoringbrothers.org/ and http://www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org/.

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