100 Black Men of Greater South Bend is a local nonprofit focused on the unique social, cultural, and emotional needs of young African American men in our community. Notre Dame has a long-standing relationship with 100 Black Men, initially through the University’s office of Community Relations, and recently through the Center for Civic Innovation. Sy Barker, Vice Treasurer/Secretary of 466 Works and Member of 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend has served as a mentor with CCI's summer Internship Program for several years, helping to guide projects related to safe and affordable housing in the Southeast Neighborhood. Through connections with Sy and 466 Works, CCI Director Jay Brockman was invited to discuss how interns might contribute innovative ideas to forward the work of 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend.
The cornerstone of 100 Black Men is relationship building through one-on-one and group mentoring programs. With the COVID-19 pandemic, mentors noticed an increase in turnover of youth participants and were concerned for the future success of the program. In January 2021, CCI operated a 3-week Winter Internship Program that placed University of Notre Dame student athletes Chase Love and Max Siegel alongside Don Wycliff, President of 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend and CCI’s Jay Brockman to find innovative ways to enhance the 100 Black Men mentoring program. Love and Seigel identified key areas for online program improvement while making recommendations for future improvements to in-person programs. These recommendations emphasized UND partnerships that have the potential to help retain both participants and mentors.
CCI has plans to build on the work of Love and Siegel; during the Summer 2021 Internship Program, in collaboration with Jeff Arnold, Director of Academic Advancement in the UND College of Engineering and Angie Torain, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Culture, Diversity and Engagement, a team of student athletes from Notre Dame and Holy Cross College funded by the John and Katie Anthony Family will work to address the challenges identified by Love and Siegel. In addition, they will develop programming that provides access to STEM activities for participants of the 100 Black Men’s Freedman Academy by connecting them with student groups and initiatives at Notre Dame.
"We're excited to continue working with 100 Black Men and ND Athletics to help develop young talent in our community, and we're especially grateful to the John and Katie Anthony Family in supporting a team of interns to pick up the work that Max and Chase began," said Brockman. Interns will work full-time for 8 weeks this summer and will be invited to participate in the STEM event they help plan for the spring semester.