Feedback

VIDEO: “I was the guy carrying that gun”

Black men with great community projects - and a compelling video - could win $20,000 as part of the Black Male Engagement initiative, BMe

cory mccray BMe

Labor leader Cory McCray in November, telling his story at the Baltimore launch of the Black Male Engagement (BMe) initiative.

Photo by: Andre Chung, for BMe

Those in Baltimore who have encountered Cory McCray at City Hall or neighborhood meetings might be surprised to discover where this high-profile labor leader, community advocate, electrician and father used to hang out – the corner.

Once the Northeast Baltimore youth started getting caught, he was also spending time in various state facilities and detention centers.

“I was the guy that was carrying that gun, I was the one that was trying to cause harm, maybe to you, maybe to your children,” McCray recalls, in a video made for the Black Male Engagement initiative (BMe). Why was McCray able to make it out?

“Because I had a determined mother,” McCray says, speaking to an audience in November, describing how his worried mother contacted state officials and found an apprenticeship for him with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

“That apprenticeship saved my life.”

Based in Detroit, Philadelphia and Baltimore, the BMe describes itself as “a growing network of brothers committed to making our communities stronger.”

Since it began last year, the organization has encouraged and solicited video presentations by “fathers, coaches, students and businessmen—regular guys from all walks of life who are engaging neighborhoods, starting businesses and mentoring kids.”

Now, partnering with the Knight Foundation, they are offering $20,000 grants to men who are working with others in the community to make positive change. Videos with a powerful message, like McCray’s, seem to be key.

“From Jan. 23 to Feb. 28, 2013, black men who have uploaded video testimonials of what they do to better their community and fill out brief applications at BMeCommunity.org” will have a chance to win, according to a news release from Knight and BMe.

Applicants have to answer some questions about themselves and their project. Community leaders review applications and then the staff of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Open Society Foundations review their recommendations and make a final decision. Funded projects will have up to one year to be completed.

Be sure to check our full comment policy before leaving a comment.

  • trueheart4life

    A wonderful initiative … Hoping lots of men are informed, aware and have the opportunity to apply for the funding.

  • July 31, 2015

    • Denita N. Hill hit upon a simple scheme to defraud the City of Baltimore. From her position as an accountant at the Finance Department’s payroll services bureau, she reissued “lost” employee checks to a friend, who then forged their names and deposited the checks into his own account. What made the scheme possible, according to […]

  • July 30, 2015

    • The city jail, a forbidding fixture of the East Baltimore skyline for more than 150 years, may be torn down under a plan announced this afternoon by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Calling the facility “a disgrace” and “deplorable,” Hogan said the state facility would be shut down as soon as possible. The roughly 900 male […]

  • July 29, 2015

    • After weeks of stewing over Gov. Larry Hogan’s rejection of the Red Line, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today said she has authorized the city’s transportation director to start looking for alternatives to the $2.9 billion light-rail plan. Asked for specifics, the mayor said just about everything is up in the air except her goal to “improve […]

  • July 27, 2015

  • July 26, 2015

    • It was the classic source of guns for a gun swap – family-owned firearms lying around the house, gathering dust and making their owners vaguely nervous. “My father passed away and I didn’t want them in my house, I wanted to get rid of them anyway,” said Baltimore resident Mitch Radford, Sr.,  at the “Computers […]

More of the Daily Drip »

Below the Fold

  • December 15, 2014

    •   “Ha ha, so not a surprise.” “Shocking…not!!” We get applause but also the occasional eye-roll these days for our accountability reporting – like last week’s piece about how tax cuts promised by the mayor as a selling point for Horseshoe Baltimore probably won’t happen, thanks to the casino’s lower-than-expected revenues. We get where the […]

Twitter

Facebook