The mentoring group 100 Black Men of South Florida celebrates its 20th anniversary this month with a look back at its accomplishments.
Long before the phrase “no child left behind“ became a political football, Bill Diggs and Albert E. Dotson Jr. were kicking it around.
This week, Diggs, Dotson and about 90 other South Florida members of legendary mentoring group 100 Black Men of South Florida Inc. celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary and the day Diggs and Dotson decided they had to do more for the area’s struggling black children than talk.
“Black kids were dying. Some were not performing well in school — both issues that have come to the forefront of the news cycle again recently,“ said Diggs, president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce.
The two were at a backyard barbecue in early October 1988. Diggs, 27 at the time, had been in the insurance business for a couple of years. Dotson was a recent law school graduate. They talked about mentoring young African-American males, going well beyond helping with homework.
The two pooled their money, began recruiting peers, and, two years later, launched 100 Black Men of South Florida.
Since then, the group has established annual fundraising events, a tutoring program that includes field trips, and a health and wellness institute.
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Stanley Davis, 20, is a beneficiary of the vision of Diggs and Dotson.
Davis, a student at Florida International University, is slated to graduate in 2012 with a degree in international business and international relations.
Read: “Mentors mark 20 years,“ an article from the MiamiHerald.com’