By Othor Cain,
More than 600 people showed up at the Jackson Convention Complex in downtown Jackson September 21 for the annual Scholarship and Mentoring Banquet of the 100 Black Men of Jackson.
This is the 29th year for the event in the chapter’s 29-year history.
The chapter was formed in 1990 and is making a substantial impact in the lives of youth in metro Jackson and the state of Mississippi.
This year’s program featured three dynamic speakers, one current mentee and two former mentees. All three delivered exceptional speeches and highlighted their mentors with words of appreciation.
What makes this event a signature event is that the entire program showcases and features mentees; from the emcee to all presentations made on stage. “This is a unique opportunity for us to highlight what we do weekly and sometimes daily with our young men,” said Dr. Audwin Fletcher, one of the coordinators of the mentees that guide the program. “Its like they come alive and shine each year and it makes us all feel good.”
Another highlight of this prestigious event is the chapter’s President Award. This year, President Harvey Johnson bestowed two awards, one to a chapter member and one to a community member. “It is always good when we can recognize the efforts of one of our own and showcase the work of what’s happening in the community,” Johnson said. “This year’s event really captured what we’ve been doing all year and I’m grateful to every sponsor, supporter and participant.”
The President’s Award was given to Michael Williams, an attorney with the Bradley Law Group. Williams is also the recipient of the firm’s 2019 Cameron J. Miller Award for Excellence and Community Service. The award was presented June 27 to Williams at an event in the firm’s Jackson office.
The award honors an associate who exemplifies the excellence, in and out of the law firm, of Cameron Miller, who died in June 2012 battling cancer while in his first year of practice as an attorney with Bradley. The firm established the award in conjunction with Miller’s parents, Frank and Alice Miller; his fiancée at the time of his passing, Katherine Perry; and Perry’s parents, Charlie and Sheri Perry.
“We are immensely proud of Michael’s commitment to civic work and other efforts to support and benefit our community,” said Bradley Chairman of the Board and Managing Partner Jonathan M. Skeeters. “Michael is a highly deserving recipient of this award, following in the footsteps of other Bradley attorneys who have helped to carry on the memory of Cam through community service and legal excellence.”
The award included a donation to a charity in Miller’s memory. This year, with the support of the Miller and Perry families, the firm will make collective cash donations of $5,000 each to 100 Black Men of Jackson (BMJ) and the Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM), which are the charitable/community service organizations selected by Williams.
Williams has been a member of the organization for four years.
Johnson also gave a special award to Keymiah Jones, who works with the organization’s aquatic program. “Because of her skilled techniques, Jones saved the life of a young swimmer,” Johnson said. “We are eternally grateful for her efforts and work with us.”
Long time member Barnett Taylor received the distinguished recognition as ‘Mentor of the Year.’ Mentoring is one of the pillars of which the organization was founded.
Seven local institutions and schools each received scholarships of $2,500 during the premiere event that included Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State University,Tougaloo College, Rust College, Hinds Community Collge and Piney Woods Country Life School.
For more information about the 100 Black Men of Jackson, Inc. please visit https://www.100blackmenjackson.org.
See additional story on page 2 and photos on page 16.