Photo Credit: Regina Fleming. (PRNewsFoto/Big Brothers Big Sisters, Regina Fleming)
Mentoring Brothers in Action is a national partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters and the nation's three largest African American fraternities -- Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi. It also includes Stand Up Men, which rallies individuals to work together to address racial disparities, promote education and advocate for health and community development.
Dale Long, Alpha Phi Alpha; L-Mani Viney, Kappa Alpha Psi; and Charles Matthews, Omega Psi Phi; and Big Brothers Big Sisters Advisory Council member Rodney Davis joined Baisden on stage at the Apollo to accept the $20,000 donation. While on stage, Davis presented Baisden with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Inspiration Award, established in his honor this year. Beginning next year, Big Brothers Big Sisters will present the award annually to a person who models the radio host's dedication and generosity in supporting mentoring children of color.
With the anniversary celebration donation, The Michael Baisden Foundation has provided more than $130,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters and its affiliates. Baisden has partnered with the organization's Mentoring Brothers in Action African American mentoring program to engage more Black men to get involved in one-to-one mentoring to change the odds for African American boys. In addition, Baisden supports the effort with hundreds of thousands of dollars in air time, special appearances, and through his social media platforms, which have nearly 550,000 followers.
Youth served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are predominately children of color from single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated, and many are children of military personnel. While African American boys are disproportionately represented among children waiting for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors, Black men make up only 15 percent of the nationwide mentoring network's male mentors.
The Michael Baisden 9th Anniversary event showcased live music, a mix and mingle session, a time to hang out with artists/comedians, and the ultimate Battle of the DJs final show down. Featured artists included Angie Stone, Johnny Gill, Eric Roberson, Conya Doss, Vivian Green, Will Downing, LD and Karma II Band, with Comedians George Willborn and Tyler Craig. Special guest appearances included Rev Al Sharpton, the parents of the late Heavy D, and Vy Higginsen's Gospel for Teens Youth Choir and more.