100 Black Men Of Syracuse Inc. initially began as an idea conceived by Jerome Walker and Walter Eiland following their participation in 1995’s Million Man March. Their plan to build a grassroots organization that would pursue many of the ideals they brought back from the March would take root in their consciousness over the next few years. In 2006, they convened about 25 to 30 black men who shared their common concerns about the state of the Syracuse community. The group recognized the necessity for a stronger presence of African-American males working to halt the deterioration of their neighborhoods and acting on a strong desire to rebuild a sense of community from within.
They looked at the national organization 100 Black Men Of America as a feasible model that could help them begin this process. Hence the 100 Black Men of Syracuse interest group was formed. During this first year, members of the group:
- adopted by laws
- opened an office at the South Side Innovation Center
- held its first elections
At the same time, the organization launched a range of initiatives and activities consistent with its mission described on this brochure. After working to develop its programs and build collaborations with other organizations, the group submitted its application for membership to 100 Black Men of America Inc. in March 2009. In June of the same year, 100 Black Men of Syracuse Inc. was inducted into and awarded a formal charter at the national organization’s 2009 Annual Conference held in New York City.