PHILADELPHIA -- In honor of Black History Month, Dale Long has been recognized, as one of "TheGrio's 100: History Makers In The Making." Released by theGrio.com, a division of NBC News, the list includes 100 African-American men and women who are writing the next chapter of American history.
Nominated by a team of experts, affiliates, and contributors from across the country, and members of TheGrio.com and NBC News editorial teams, "TheGrio's 100" shines a spotlight on the next generation of African-American history makers and industry leaders from 10 fields, including business, education, sports, science and the environment, media, service and activism, politics, health, pop culture and the arts.
Long, a City of Dallas employee, has mentored seven boys in Big Brothers Big Sisters matches over the past 37 years. He helped forge a national partnership more than 20 years ago with Big Brothers Big Sisters and his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, in an effort to recruit more men to mentor African American boys who disproportionately represent children waiting to be matched with mentors. That partnership led to the recent collaboration wherein the Alphas and two other African American fraternities, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi, formed an unprecedented national alliance with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Long is an advocate for and donor to the mentoring organization, and he serves on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lone Star. He is an excellent example of Big Brothers Big Sisters' new "Start Something" effort, which challenges Americans to do what they can to support the mentoring network's work in helping children who face adversity beat the odds.
"Big Brothers Big Sisters' richer engagement in the community through these partnerships is not only leading to the recruitment of more African American male mentors, it's a way to add to the diversity of local agency board members, energize mentoring advocacy and attract donors," Long said. "I am proud that through grassroots efforts such as barbershop recruiting and fraternity convention outreach, we're supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters' careful mentor matching and ongoing support for volunteers, children and parents. My goal is to enhance Big Brothers Big Sisters' ability to assist families that want to see their children succeed and break negative cycles too often linked to their communities," he added.
Other notable honorees include First Lady Michelle Obama, for her "Let's Move" campaign; singer and education advocate Jill Scott, actress Viola Davis, Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones and NBA star Kevin Durant, among others.
TheGrio's 100 will be profiled on all platforms of NBC News including "NBC Nightly News," "TODAY," MSNBC, CNBC, and msnbc.com starting February 1, and will continue at TheGrio.com and on MSNBC throughout the month. Local NBC affiliates in Atlanta, Cleveland, San Diego, Washington, Memphis, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Charlotte and elsewhere will also profile honorees from their respective markets.
Beyond NBC News' broadcast and digital outlets, several social media platforms are also engaged with "TheGrio's 100" initiative. TheGrio is working with foursquare, the location-based mobile application, to generate branded content and create a Black History "badge" that users can unlock by following TheGrio on foursquare and checking in at 100+ locations across the country that have been identified as historically relevant to Black History Month. For more information, visit: foursquare.com/thegrio. Fans can also check out more about "TheGrio's 100" on TheGrio's facebook page and on Twitter @thegrio with hashtag #thegrios100.
A division of NBC News, TheGrio.com was launched in June 2009 as the first video-centric news community site devoted to providing African Americans with stories and perspectives that appeal to them but are underrepresented in existing national news outlets. TheGrio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles, and blogs on topics from breaking news, politics, health, business, and entertainment, which concern its niche audience.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters
For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated. As the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers ("Bigs") and children ("Littles").
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a system of ongoing evaluation and support, which is proven by independent studies to help families by improving the odds that "Littles" will perform better in school and avoid violence and illegal activities, and have stronger relationships with their parents and others. Headquartered in Philadelphia with a network of about 370 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 250,000 children.