A national organization that promotes and supports black men leaders is awarding $250,000 in grants in Miami and three other cities.
BMe Community is looking to give away $10,000 to 25 black men changemakers in Miami, Akron, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Benjamin Evans, the Miami community manager for BMe, says this is just one way to highlight black male excellence and to connect local leaders to a national network of like-minded individuals.
"Often times the narrative around black men is that we are the face of crime," Evans says. "We have to break some of those stereotypes and break some of those false narratives that are leading not only from people outside of the community, but people in the community."
Last year, the inaugural Miami-Dade BMe Leaders included 10 men from across different platforms including the tech industry, nonprofits and entrepreneurs.
Evans says it's not enough to acknowledge black men who are community innovators— BMe invests in them. The deadline to apply for the BMe Leader award is Feb. 21.
Meet three of 2016's BMe Miami-Dade Leaders:
Senior site director, Breakthrough Miami at Ransom Everglades School
Webber Charles is mindful of how exploring and experiencing new cultures early in life can change the way young people see their future.
He is using his grant to support an international mentoring program for young people in South Florida. Through the program they are able to travel abroad, gain global experiences and see the different ways they are connected to the world.
Vice president of development, KCG Development
Marvin Wilmoth is a housing developer who works with local black-owned businesses helping them to thrive and grow.
He strives to create an atmosphere in Miami-Dade where black businesses can be sustainable and competitive.
Wilmoth will use his BMe Leader award to support an eco-friendly work space for Miami’s social entrepreneurs.
Marlon A. Hill,
Attorney and partner at Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP
Marlon Hill is a mentor to many young men in South Florida.
The Jamaican-born attorney knows firsthand the challenges to adjusting to a new community as an immigrant. Today, he serves as a go-to person in Miami for new arrivals from across the Caribbean.
Marlon will use his BMe Leader award to assist young black men who are immigrants.