The 100 Black Men of Omaha Inc. is a mentoring organization that has a solid core of African American men who are committed to making a difference by helping north Omaha’s young men — referred to as “youth with promise” — reach their fullest potential.
Richard Webb is the chief executive officer.
The organization serves youths 8 to 18 years old who primarily come from low-income single-parent homes.
Mentoring the “100 Way” means the volunteer mentors address many facets of the mentees’ life, including the importance of education, attendance and attitude at school, social skills and interactions with parents, teachers and peers.
Some of their mentoring programs include: one-to-one mentoring promoting goal-setting, positive decision-making, career exploration, high school graduation and post-secondary education for grades six through 12.
Real Talk with the 100 is group mentoring.
The Toastmaster program is designed to develop speaking and leadership skills for mentees.
The organization also has a Saturday academy in partnership with Title I and the Omaha Public Schools. This program includes girls and addresses the educational, cultural and self-esteem gaps experienced by third- through sixth-grade students. Certified teachers help students master concepts in reading, writing and math.
The flagship African American History Challenge competition, created in 2001, is a reading program designed by the 100 Black Men of America to enhance the study of African American history among middle and high school students.
Since 2008, the Omaha group’s mentees have experienced a 100 percent graduation rate, with 93 percent going on to post-secondary institutions or military service.
Webb will tell you he was a difficult kid.
“I was a rebellious kid who had a father that told me I was either going to be busy being constructive or I would be busy being destructive,” Webb said. “He let me know he had ways of influencing my choice.”
Webb became affiliated with 100 Black Men when he was in the eighth grade. He participated in the African American History Challenge and has come full circle with 100 Black Men of Omaha.
He became a mentor, board member, president-elect for the organization and now is the CEO.
He went from a rebellious kid to a college graduate, a husband to Danita and a father of four children. He and Danita have enjoyed robust careers. Webb previously worked in the hospitality industry. He’s the recipient of many awards, serves on many boards and panels and stays involved in his community.
His passion is helping youths be respectful, responsible and ready to lead.
On April 12, 100 Black Men and Tim Burke, president and CEO of the Omaha Public Power District, are hosting the 14th Annual Men of Honor Fundraiser and Awards Dinner at the Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass St.
The guest speaker is the Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III of Dallas.
Dr. Haynes is a prophetic pastor, passionate leader, social activist, eloquent orator and educator engaged in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He is the senior pastor at Friendship-West Baptist Church. After visiting Zimbabwe and South Africa, Dr. Haynes led his church to adopt churches in both countries.
He is a committed community activist and has formed alliances with local community leaders and Dallas city officials to fight social injustice, domestic violence and poverty.
And the young Omaha men who are being mentored by positive role models will also see in the speaker someone else who exemplifies the 100 Black Men’s motto, “What they see is what they’ll be.”