African-American male mentors step up to change the lives of young Black men
Detroit, MI – Former Detroit Mayor and NBA legend Dave Bing will celebrate the first year of his BINGO mentoring initiative at a dinner and program on Thursday, October 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the UAW-Ford National Programs Center, 151 West Jefferson Avenue in Detroit.
BINGO’s nearly 70 African-American male mentors and their young Black mentees from Detroit Public Schools will attend the event, which will feature a moving performance by the Boys Theatre of Detroit and brief remarks from Bing, UAW-Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles, a BINGO mentor and mentee, and representatives from the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Public Schools and Global Psychological Services.
BINGO, which stands for “Boys Inspired through Nurturing, Growth & Opportunities,” had a remarkably successful first year. More than 95 percent of the mentors and mentees from the pilot year will continue into the second year. Additionally, the number of schools involved in the program will expand from four to 11. The goal is to exceed 100 mentor and mentee matches by the end of the second year.
“When I launched the program last year, my biggest concern was whether I was going to be able to get men of color to commit to mentoring our young men a minimum of one hour per week,” said Bing. “I am so pleased that successful male role models representing a number of professions have stepped up to give these young men a mentoring experience that will help them reach their full potential. Our program is providing these young men with much-needed guidance, support and love.”
The BINGO mentoring program uses three components to prepare urban young men for productive and successful lives: One-on-One Mentoring, Social Emotional Learning, and Educational and Social Outings. BINGO is part of the Bing Youth Institute (BYI), whose mission is to enhance the lives of Detroit-area youth through mentoring, academic support, and recreational opportunities.
Major corporations, organizations and foundations are providing support for BINGO and BYI, including the Detroit Pistons, Lear Corporation, UAW-Ford, Ford Motor Company, Hudson-Webber Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield, DTE Energy, Comerica Bank, First Merit Bank, Henry Ford Health System, Health Alliance Plan, Quicken Loans, Ilitch Charities, Steelcase, and Minority Automotive Suppliers. Global Psychological Services and Heritage Optical are providing pro bono services. Heritage will give eye exams and free eyeglasses to the mentees in the program who need them. Additionally, the partner organizations have encouraged their African-American male employees to get involved with the BINGO mentoring program.
For more information on BINGO and BYI, visit www.bingyouthinstitute.org
or call 313.392.7016.