Parents, area judges, political candidates, friends and supporters gathered in the DoubleTree Hotel Ballroom on Dec. 17 for the 2021 Christmas Gala hosted by 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock Inc.

Guests were served dinner prior to the main part of the program, during which Muskie Harris, 100 Black Men president, served multiple roles. Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore welcomed attendees. Keynote speaker Schawnee Hightower of Verizon Wireless shared memories of his upbringing and dispensed some valuable words of wisdom.

The evening also consisted of a video of the group’s 2021 session; recognition of founding members; presenting sponsor remarks by Steve Landers; the installation of chapter officers by City Director Virgil Miller; and the pinning of two new members: Little Rock Central High Head Football Coach George Shelton, and Thomas Jones. Marcus Johnson, chapter secretary, was presented with the chapter’s Real Man Award.

The event also featured the graduation of the 10th class of the 100 Academy S.M.A.R.T. mentoring program: Julius Adams, Bryant Junior High School; Erick Brown, eStem Public Charter High School; Dwight Coleman, LISA Academy; Trevous Grisby, Forest Heights STEM Academy; Roderick Jones and Taren Patterson, both of Dunbar Magnet Middle School; and Terren Rogers, Jacksonville High School. Peer mentees for Class 10 were Christian James, Horace Mann Arts & Sciences Magnet Middle School; Tony Hill, eStem Junior High School; Mason Parker, Love-Jones eStem Public Charter High School; and Ajarin Robinson, Sylvan Hills High School.

100 Black Men of America Inc. is a mentoring organization dedicated to the social, cultural, emotional and other needs of young Black males through one-on-one and group activities focusing on education, economic empowerment, health and wellness and leadership development.

— Story and photos by Helaine R. Williams

 Gallery: Christmas Gala: 100 Black Men