Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

A great night for Detroit at the Charles H. Wright Museum

March 2, 2012, 8:41 a.m., Posted by Rishi Jaitly

Partners and supporters of the BME Challenge gathered Wednesday night to celebrate the 10 winners of the BME Detroit Leadership Award, honoring exemplary black men who step up to lead and engage others in our community.

Detroit City Council Member James Tate greeted the crowd and former NBA star and charter school founder Jalen Rose made a surprise appearance.

Each of the BME Leadership Award winners is receiving funds to advance work they are doing in our community - from helping plant gardens in vacant lots, to giving new fathers parenting skills, and exposing young people to greater literacy, cultural and career development opportunities. Each talked about their projects on video.

But this wasn't just a special night for our winners; it was a special night for Detroit. These men represent hundreds of BMErs, and thousands of Detroiters, who are blending economic livelihood, creative pursuit, and civic action in imaginative ways. It's because of people like them that Knight Foundation invests in initiatives that help citizens lead and engage with the city's growing movement of social entrepreneurs.

Having the event at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African-American History, on the last day of Black History Month, was both breathtaking and poignant.

I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds with the winners’ projects and to growing the network of black males who identify and connect through BME.

By Rishi Jaitly, program director/Detroit at Knight Foundation

Related: Philadelphia celebrates its BME Leadership Award Winners