Campaign Celebrates Unsung Heroes Among Black Men and Boys

A new campaign launching today will highlight the stories of black men and boys—celebrating and supporting them as they lead others in strengthening their communities.

The first-of-its-kind effort will be piloted this year in two cities, Philadelphia and Detroit.

BME (pronounced Be Me) is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement. BME stands for Black Male Engagement.

“We want to shine a light on the brothers who help others achieve, who involve neighbors, friends and strangers in things that uplift the community,” said Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundation’s vice president for communities. “If you want to see more black men and boys solving problems and making decisions for the good of Detroit and Philadelphia, nominate them at bmechallenge.org, and let’s recognize them.”

TV and movies rarely feature stories of black males making time to positively engage with their communities. Their stories represent the true identity of many black men and boys—actively engaged community members who inspire those around them. BME strives to amplify the positive impact that black males have in their communities every day.

Here’s how BME works: Through the BME website, Philadelphia and Detroit residents can share their stories of leadership in writing and through video. Anyone, anywhere can make nominations. Submissions are being accepted through Sept. 30. Entrants in each city will be invited to join their peers and fellow community leaders at a celebration event in October.

Additionally, entrants who submit their own stories will be eligible to apply for financial and nonfinancial support of their projects in the campaign’s second phase.

“BME will go a long way to raise awareness of the wealth of black men and boys across America that are amazing assets to their communities and families,” said Shawn Dove, campaign manager of Open Society Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

BME is part of Knight Foundation’s Black Males Initiative, which supports black men and boys in strengthening their communities.

Find out more, and share a story at bmechallenge.org.

About the Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

About the Open Society Foundations

Active in more than 70 countries, the Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.