curley_m._dossman_jr.jpgNEW ORLEANS – The 27th annual conference  of the 100 Black Men, Inc. was held in downtown New Orleans, La., was a highly anticipated event to which chapter members traveled long distances, including from as far away as London, England.

With the theme, Optimizing Health & Wellness: Mind, Body and Spirit, conference features ranged from daily presentations and sponsor kiosks to teen workshops and nightly entertainment.

The beautiful scenery of the downtown area contributed to a spectacular and informative occasion.

The organization of professionals, educators, executives, entrepreneurs and others was founded in New York City in 1963. With a global network of 118 chapters, from the United States to the Caribbean to elsewhere abroad, its board chairman is Curley M. Dossman Jr., president of the Georgia Pacific Foundation.

Dossman was elected the 100 Black Men’s fifth leader during the organization’s Atlanta conference in 2012. In New Orleans he shared the importance of youth empowerment through two of the 100’s programs, the Community Empowerment Project and the Leadership Academy. Both focus on providing education through mentoring.

With an age range of 8 through 18, the programs provide scholarships and allow students opportunities to interact with individuals who can help fabricate their future. “We have had many positive testimonies come from the Community Empowerment Project and Leadership Academy,” Dossman said.

“We also have an upcoming partnership with the College Board to encourage higher test scores on college entry exams.” “I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend this year’s conference,” said Micheal Ivory, a mentee of the South Florida Leadership Academy Chapter. “I was surrounded by a group of people who shared the common goal of upbringing the youth of the African-American culture,” said Ivory, who spoke to an audience of more than 1,000 people during the Report from the Youth Breakfast.

“I was indecisive about speaking at the breakfast,” he added. “I’ve never spoken in front of an audience of such a large number.”
Ivory advises anyone who is fearful of public speaking to “have faith and confidence, because people will be receptive of what you have on your mind.”