100 Black Men becoming hometown heroes
Stanley O. Williford | 10/12/2011, 5 p.m.
If you or someone you know has been blessed to be one of the more than 18,000 youths who have been helped by the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles' Young Black Scholars (YSB) program over the past years, you understand the importance of the organization's 30th anniversary gala on Oct. 21.
The event is being held at the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live downtown. Among the honorees include Laker great Earvin "Magic" Johnson (Man of the Year), Northrop Grumman executive Sandra Evers-Manly (Woman of the Year), entrepreneur-entertainer Marla Gibbs (Lifetime Achievement Award), UCLA basketball great Walter Hazzard (Lifetime Achievement Award), entrepreneur Fred A. Calloway (Special Achievement Award), Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby (Special Achievement Award) and AEG executive vice president Kevin McDowell (Community Partner Award).
The affair will be hosted by Chris Schauble, KTLA morning news co-anchor, and 10-time Grammy award winner Chaka Khan will provide special entertainment.
It is at such galas that 100 Black Men raise funds to carry on their community programs like Young Black Scholars. Typical YBS success stories include the following:
Clifton Dorsey, who began being mentored through YBS in 1996 during his freshman year in high school, said his experience with 100 Black Men mentorship programs was "invaluable, as it gave me an opportunity to see things that until that time I had never seen before: Black men and women in business suits that were well-spoken, ambitious and professional. These images increased my self-worth, and through participating in events like the YBS Super Quiz, I gained a more profound sense of my cultural heritage."
Dorsey is a professor of political science and American government at Westwood College and is also a third-year law student at Southwestern Law School. He holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree in political science from California State University, Long Beach. He participated in the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Duke University in 2003 and is a member of both the National Political Science Honor Society and the National Black Law Student Association.
"Words cannot express the level of gratitude and thanks I owe to the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles," said Dorsey. "This distinguished organization played an integral part in my life at a pivotal time."
Another "alumnus" of the organization's Young Black Scholars program extols the mentors and advisers who took the time to care about his academic development.
"As a high school student," said Henry Delu, "I remember getting up early on the weekends to visit a different college each month. YBS has always created a successful program that added to my academic growth."
Delu went on to further his education by obtaining a bachelor's degree in molecular cell biology at UC Berkeley, and a master's in medical science from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in pharmacy at the University of Southern California.
Denette Brewer-Boyd indicated that Young Black Scholars may have contributed to her academic salvation, although she was already enrolled in a prestigious college-prep school