Black Male Initiative plans fundraiser

Published 10:02 am Friday, April 14, 2017

by Felicia Blow

On Sunday, April 30, at 11 a.m., the Franklin/Southampton County Black Male Initiative will have its second annual fundraiser. This will be in Eternal Life Church, 102 W. Barrett St., Franklin.

The Black Male Initiative is targeted to African-American male students, ages 12 to 17 who live in the Franklin/Southampton County region. The purpose of the effort is to increase, encourage and support the inclusion and educational success of young African-American males. The program assists students in both, their academic and professional endeavors, promotes and advocates for an improved educational experience and quality of life.

The Rev. Alvin Blow, pastor of Eternal Life and organizer of the Black Male Initiative, said, “There is an alarming amount of data that reflects the plight of black men in America. There are high rates of incarceration, alcohol and drug use, unwed parenting, and premature death in our black males. We also see low rates of legal employment, high school completion, college attendance, and active participation in the lives of their children. We need to change the trajectory of the lives of these young people.”

Dr. Willie Bell Jr., co-organizer of the Black Male Initiative, said, “There are a number of men in the community who are willing to give their time, talent and resources to help in making a change in the lives of our young men. Our region will be better served when we find means to use of the talents of all of our citizenry. This effort can be the first step in a movement to really turn things around.”

Blow noted that Greg Scott was chosen as speaker for the upcoming fundraiser as he is a product of the community and understands the plight of young men here.

Scott is a former National Football League player who played in the NFL, Europe and the Arena Football League. He played college football at Hampton University and was drafted in the 2002 NFL Draft. He played for the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals; and he played two seasons for the AFL’s Grand Rapids Rampage (2006–2007).

Through Scott’s Cover 3 Foundation, hundreds of children are fed daily. However, another part of his Foundation’s mission is C3’s “Future Fathers Program,” which is designed to transform young men into positive leaders of their community and family.

For information on this fundraiser program, call 653-1520.