Creating a scholarship endowment for college-bound students,Â 100 Black Men of Chicago Inc. will host A Night at the Museum; a white party in support of the organization’s expanding mentoring programs. The event will be held Saturday, August 6, 2016, at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Kim Foxx, Democratic nominee for Illinois’ State Attorney, and Chicago City Treasurer, Kurt Summers, are serving as honorary chairs.Â “We’re hoping to build it as an endowment,” says Carl Tutt, President of the organization’s board.
Scholarships and Mentoring
Since 1994, 100 Black Men of Chicago has provided mentoring and scholarships to young people in Chicago. Children as young as seventhÂ grade participate in the structured program, and stay in it until college.Â Even after aging out of the program, many college students return to their former mentoring sites to share their experiences and mentor other young participants. Many join the Collegiate 100, which is comprised of current college students. Once they graduate, they can join this adult organization.
“It feels good to see things come full circle,” says Tutt.
The Key to Reducing Violence
100 Black Men of Chicago operates through five mentoring sites, and students learn about its programs through word of mouth.Â “We also have outreach programs through churches and the NAACP. The program is free–students just need to provide their own transportation,” Tutt says.
Meeting on Saturdays during the school year, the program provides a forum to discuss current events and the art of debate. “We talk about soft skills; presentation skills,” says Tutt. “We have students attend events in the arts and sciences. They do STEM programs. Our goal is to expose them and prepare them to be leaders.”
Tutt understands how high the stakes are. “When you evaluate the different shooting events, I always ask, ‘What is the education level of the shooter?’ I don’t know too many people who have a college degree that are involved in these types of shootings. Education is the key to reduced violence,” he says.
The Financial Barrier
But, for many young people, finances are a barrier to higher education, thus the work of an organization like 100 Black Men of Chicago is critical.Â To help meet this challenge, the organization also holds an annual College Scholarship Fair in October.
“Our signature event,” Tutt says, “attracts students from all over the Midwest. They’ve come from as far away as San Francisco, because participating colleges also offer scholarships on the spot.”
For more information about 100 Black Men of Chicago and to purchase tickets for the upcoming event, A Night at the Museum, visit its website.