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Black men celebrate years of serving L.A.

Juliana D. Norwood | 9/28/2011, 5 p.m.

Founded in 1981, 100 Black Men of Los Angeles Inc. ("100 BMLA") has served the greater Los Angeles community for nearly 30 years. Comprised of men from law, medicine, architecture, business, politics and education, 100 BMLA is committed to using knowledge, skill and ability for the betterment of the community.

"Using the national motto 'Real Men Giving Real Time,' as a guide, we invest in the greater Los Angeles community through our flagship programs--Young Black Scholars (YBS) and the See Your Future Mentoring Program. Combined with our annual economic and health-related activities, 100 BMLA programs embody our national Four for the Future mandate to positively impact education, mentoring, economic development, and health and wellness," said President Jewett Walker in a statement.

The 100 Black Men of Los Angeles Inc. is a non-profit civic and community-based organization that serves as a catalyst to improve the quality of life for Blacks, other minorities and the disadvantaged and underrepresented segments of the community through the enhancement of educational and economic opportunities.

The 100 Black Men of Los Angeles provides support for and focuses on: mentoring, education, health and wellness and education programs emphasizing mentoring services, economic development, scholarship, and sponsoring YBS, the key program of the organization.

The Young Black Scholars Program began as a solution to the 1983 California Post Secondary Education Commission study that indicated an alarming disparity in African American students who didn't meet the University of California entrance requirements upon high school graduation. At that time, only 3.6 percent of the 25,000 African American high school graduates in California were eligible for entrance into the California State University System. In an effort to exceed those statistics, the 100BMLA officially implemented the YBS program, which to date has served approximately 14,000 students.

In addition to the numerous programs that the organization hosts each year to benefit disadvantaged youth, 100 BMLA also holds a major event annually to raise money for the organization. This year the 30th anniversary gala is set for Oct. 21 at the J.W. Marriott within LA Live.

The honorees are: Man of the Year, Earvin "Magic" Johnson; Woman of the Year, Sandra Evers-Manley (vice president corporate responsibility Northrop Grumman); Lifetime Achievement Award, Marla Gibbs; Special Achievement Award, Fred Calloway and L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby; and Corporate Community Partner Award, Kevin McDowell (AEG executive vice president).

There are a number of ways businesses and members of the community can contribute to the organization and the gala. Individual tickets are $250, and there are also a number of sponsorship options ranging from $2,500 for table sponsors to $75,000 and above for platinum sponsors. Businesses can also purchase ad space in the program booklet. Proceeds from the event will serve to further facilitate the invaluable services that 100 BMLA provides to the community.