When it comes to advancing the narrative of black men and increasing our social and economic viability, who better to learn from then those who have achieved those milestones?

With this in mind, Men of Courage is kicking of a new series called “The Blueprint.” We will be collecting gems of wisdom from creative, talented, and prosperous brothers and compiling them into a blueprint for success.

Last week, multi-millionaire investor Erik Moore kicked us off with two major principles for success. This week, we tapped former Detroit Mayor, Dave Bing to bring the third principle of “The Blueprint.” Check it out.

Photo: Getty Images

From NBA star guard to businessman and founder of Bing Steel, former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has always forged his own path for success, and now he’s teaching a generation of young Detroit-area men to do the same. Through the Bing Youth Institute (BYI), he is continuing his life-long passion of providing inspiration, opportunity, and practical solutions for African American communities.

“When I left the Mayor’s office, I expressed my interest in working with youth in Detroit — in particular our young African-American males,” Bing told the Detroit Public Schools Community District. “Our goal is to help children and teens develop the confidence and leadership skills to become successful and productive citizens.”

Photo: Andre Gilbert

Since its 2014 launch, BYI has done just that. With over 100 mentors activated across 21 Detroit-area schools this year, the program is changing lives and outcomes of “at-risk” young black men through one-on-one mentoring, social emotional learning, educational and social outings, and mentee leadership forums.

In addition to the tenants outlined in this program, Dave Bing strategically guides the young men in his program toward entrepreneurship. In fact, he considers business ownership to be a pathway to freedom, social, and economic mobility for black men, which brings us to…

The Blueprint, Principle #3: Entreprenuership is a survival skill

“I’m saying to them, ‘I want you to be an entrepreneur. I want you to own your own business so you can call the shots.” – Former Detroit Mayor, Dave Bing

Those who have faced and overcome challenges early in life know how to survive, they are uniquely armed with the fortitude, creativity, and instincts it takes to be successful in business. With the right support, guidance, and mentorship, these young black men have the potential to transform life outcomes for themselves and their communities.

Hear what Dave Bing has to say about the importance of entreprenuership.

Not only do black business owners provide community based role models for black youth, but they also offer employment opportunities, skills training, and productive use of time – mitigating many of the factors that often lead youth down the wrong path. A study published in Urban Affairs Review links the growth of African American-owned businesses with the reduction in black youth violence between 1990 to 2000. 

This is the impact of mentorship when we all do our part.

Join the community of black men across the nation who have committed to take the Men of Courage Mentorship Challenge. Sign your pledge TODAY!


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