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100 Black Men hold annual conference

Miami Times staff report | 6/23/2014, 11:51 a.m.

He was introduced to the 100 Black Men of America at the age of 12-year-old Dario Stephen tells a local newspaper that without he would be, “selling drugs, somewhere in jail or six feet below.”

A Liberty City native, Stephens was glad to be a part of the unveiling of the 100 Black Men of America community empowerment project that took place outside of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale.

The 100 Black Men of America’s 28th Annual Conference at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood drew hundreds of local residents who took advantage of health screening, sessions on banking and finance and lots of literature and representation from state and Broward County agencies — as well as free food and a bounce house for the children.

The 100 Black Men of America is a national organization that strives to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for Blacks — more-so youth.

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Dario Stephen

Dennis Wright, 43, Fort Lauderdale chapter president and CA Technologies expert said: “We serve as positive role models for young black males who aligns technology to fit businesses. We lead by example and need to be out front showing them there’s a right way of doing everything in being successful.’’

The organization’s youth-oriented motto was “What they see is what they’ll be.”

This year’s empowerment project, in partnership with Nova Southeastern University, centers on the highly anticipated mentoring management system being launched in partnership with the Broward County School System.

Now, in addition to being able to see their children’s grades and attendance records, parents will be able to go online and see the dozens of mentoring programs available, then select the one they deem best suited for their child. Mentors will be able to be picked through the electronic system.

Stephen, a culinary arts teacher at Miami Central High and chef and owner of OVER THE TOP Cakes & Catering, said the 100 Black Men of America gave him a view of a world he had no idea existed. He now mentors and is happy to still be a part of the organization.