In 2011, BMe Community was initiated by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Its initial project collected more than 2,000 video testimonials from Black men in Detroit and Philadelphia about the things they do, often unnoticed, to strengthen communities. BMe later appealed to those same men for projects to fund via the BMe Leader Award. Hundreds of ideas were submitted, and in 2012-2013, 70 men received funding and provided services and opportunities to more than 130,000 people.
In 2013, BMe’s innovative approach drew the additional investments of Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement and Heinz Endowments, and on July 1 of that year, the Knight Foundation funded BMe to spin-off as its own organization, led by Trabian Shorters, the foundation’s former vice president of communities. BMe is governed by a board of innovators that includes former NAACP President Ben Jealous, Donors Choose Founder Charles Best, and Ogilvy and Mather Senior Vice President Karla Ballard.
Today, BMe is a fast-growing network of thousands of inspired Black men and other community-builders. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, BMe operates in Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and is expanding nationally.
To learn more about BMe check out the website here.