100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont, Inc.
In the summer of 2004, a group of concerned black men in the Beaumont area brought together by Atty. Audwin Samuel began to meet to determine the viability of organizing a community group to positively impact the area, especially the young black males in the community. These forward-thinking men included such leaders as Audwin Samuel, Arthur Louis, Jr., Kirby Jones, Joe Brown, Ed Turner, Vernon Durden, Byron Franklin, and others. Starting in June of 2004, the first series of meetings were held at Richard’s Café on College St. and they would become known as The 100 Black Men’s Coalition. The vision of the organization was established and the desire to become a member of the 100 Black Men of America’s National organization was discussed. Early in the process, an Executive Board was put in place and later Officers, including a chairman, and 1st & 2nd Vice-chairmen.
After work by Audwin Samuel was completed on the articles of incorporation and the National “100” membership application submitted, the membership in the 100 Black Men of America was approved by the National Organization and the group was chartered as the 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont, Inc. This name not only reflected a connection to the National Organization, but it also indicated the local group’s desire to include and allow expansion into all of the cities in the Southeast Texas Golden Triangle area.
As the local chapter grew its membership and community involvement, the chapter meetings moved from Richard’s Café to the Melton YMCA on Sarah St. Not too long after that move, the current President, Vernon Durden, led the chapter to search for its own office and meeting space. The chapter agreed on a building specifically used for non-profits and is the home of their present office at 700 North St. Beaumont, Texas 77701.
The highlight for the chapter is its major fundraising effort known as the 100’s Scholarship and Awards Banquet where city officials and the community celebrate with the Organization to recognize scholarship recipients and other mentees for their accomplishments.
Also recognized are the local sponsors and supporters that help in making the various programs and activities possible.
The group’s community involvement has grown from its partnership with the I.E.A. youth assistance group in the chapter’s formative years to partnering with other entities like B.I.S.D., the Altus Medical Group, the N.A.A.C.P., the Beaumont Police Dept., the Food Bank, the County Commissioner’s office, the EJ’s Toy Giveaway, and many others, as well as developing independent initiatives such as a middle school mentoring program, and an annual Sickle Cell Blood drive.
The local chapter continues to believe in our motto for the future of our youth: “What They See Is What They’ll Be”.