By Carla Lacy – Dallas South News Director of Development/Community Relations and
Shawn Williams – Dallas South News Editor
Last Wednesday night Michael Baisden, established radio & TV host, author, and activist, along with his co-host, and colleague, actor/comedian George Willborn kicked off their first leg of their 72 city/ 7 month tour call for One Million Mentors across the country. (Visit onemillionmentors.com).
The idea was reportedly formed after the September 2009 beating death of 16yr old Chicago student, Derrion Albert, during a vicious gang street fight. When the question was asked, “Will you help?” Mr. Baisden answered by partnering with 100 Black Men of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boys and Girls Club of America, and the National Cares Mentoring Movement to to encourage more people to become mentors. Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway presented Baisden and Wilborn with keys to the city.
Mr. Baisden opened to a packed house at the The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Theater. Those who were in attendance stood to their feet to salute Baisden as he approached the podium. He was joined by several prominent local mentors and civic leader including:
State Senator Royce West
Bruce Whitlock of Jack & Jill Inc,
Dwaine R Caraway – Mayor Pro Team
Gary Henderson with Communities in School of North Texas
Archie Burks – BBBS/Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc
Dale Long – BBBS/Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc
Nathaniel Eubanks, Jr. -BBBS/Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc
Pastor Renee Hornbuckle, Ph D. from Agape Christian Fellowship Church
Robert Tapley of 100 Black Men.
The audience was eager and receptive to all of the speakers, who charged them to get involved and become the Fredrick Douglass or Malcolm X of today by contributing to the life of a child. Application packets were distributed throughout the theater, and information tables for each organization in attendance provided additional resources.
Speakers offered practical solutions for those who may wonder what to do when spending time with a youngster. It could be as simple as a fishing trip, an afternoon at the movies, or spending time in the library. Baisden and Wilborn vow to share more information regarding their mentoring program with their listeners throughout the year.
Carla Lacy is Director of Development and Community Relations for Dallas South News. She also covers community events for DSN. Carla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org