Message from the CEO

OUR PROMISE OF PLACE IS WHEREVER WE CHOOSE TO TAKE A STAND. Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

#DestinyDetroit Breakfast of Champions

On May 8th, 2019, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and its national partners the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) and Cities United, along with The Detroit Children’s Fund, the Skillman Foundation and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, co-hosted the first #DestinyDetroit Breakfast of Champions. Held at Tech Town Detroit, the #DestinyDetroit Breakfast of Champions gathered cross-sector Detroit leaders and organizations who are committed to advancing positive outcomes for Black men and boys, and looking for ways to strengthen collaborative efforts in the city. 

The #DestinyDetroit Breakfast of Champions also served as a kick-off for COSEBOC’s 13th annual Gathering of Leaders conference in Detroit, which attracted more than 600 local and national intergenerational leaders to share best practices, as well as a two-day Young Men of Passage cultural and leadership experience for middle and high school students. The theme of this year's COSEBOC Gathering was “Boys and Young Men of Color: Ready to Learn, Honored to Serve, Destined to Lead.” 

The highlight of the breakfast for me was when we honored five young men with the Breakfast of Champions awards. I was so inspired to see and hear some of Detroit’s brightest young people stand up and speak publicly about their academic hopes and aspirations, after which each was presented with a framed award with their picture and name on it, modeled after the iconic Wheaties Box. The message we wanted them to receive was that they don’t have to be Olympic medalists or professional athletes to be honored as champions for their city. Said award recipient Jamare Winston: 

“My experiences have given me a strong group of peers, people who are on the same path as me. It’s given me a good group of teachers that push me. At one time in my life, I didn’t have anyone supporting me or anyone pushing me. But now I feel as if I have people who are supporting me tremendously and rooting for me.”

At CBMA, we seek to build beloved communities where Black men and boys can thrive and reach their fullest potential in all aspects of life. A few years ago, we chose to plant our stake in Detroit as one of our five Promise of Place cities. It has since become where we are doing our deepest work -- so much so that we opened up a Detroit-based office in order to better and more directly engage cross-sector leaders, organizations and stakeholders striving to build beloved communities for Black males in their own cities and communities.

Our Promise of Place is wherever we choose to take a stand. This first #DestinyDetroit Breakfast of Champions was a testament to both the power of partnership and the preponderance of promise that exists for Black males in Detroit and across the country. CBMA plans to co-host the breakfast with local and national partners on a regular basis to help strengthen collaborations and exchange of information to improve the life outcomes of Black men and boys in Detroit. 

Together, CBMA and our partners are committed to doing all it takes to expand, amplify and support on-the-ground leaders, groups and organizations so that we can soon point to the city of Detroit as an example of what winning looks like in Black Male Achievement. Stay tuned!

Shawn Dove, Chief Executive Officer

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