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Big Brothers Partners With Michael Baisden to Recruit African American Male Mentors

As part of our ongoing effort to reduce the numbers of boys waiting to be matched with mentors, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ celebrity ambassador Michael Baisden has launched the "One Dream One Team" mentoring initiative. Baisden’s goal is to recruit African-American male mentors for the 12,000 African-American boys who are waiting for Big Brothers. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters will partner with Baisden to host African-American fraternities, community leaders and churches at the “One Dream One Team” event on Oct. 26 in Orlando to brainstorm ways to attract more male mentors. 

"This gathering in Orlando is a clarion call to alert our communities everywhere that the time for talk and half-measures is over,” said Lowell Perry, senior vice president corporate and community engagement and chief diversity officer. “It is time to get in the game and be a player." 

To spark the “One Team One Dream” initiative, Baisden has adopted a classroom of 28 African- American boys at Evans High School in Orlando. He personally mentors the boys each week.  

Recognizing him for his work to promote mentoring, Big Brothers Big Sisters presented Baisden with the inaugural Michael Baisden Inspiration Award in 2012. Baisden used his national radio platform to recruit volunteer mentors and donated more than half a million dollars through his foundation to mentoring organizations in more than 70 cities. The Baisden Inspiration Award is given annually by Big Brothers Big Sisters to those who demonstrate consistent generosity and dedication to supporting the organization’s African- American mentoring programs. 

"This is an urgent matter and an urgent call," Baisden said. "Too often we are quick to criticize the behavior of our young men but are slow to step up to correct them or show them a better example. You have to see a man to be a man.”
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