FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
For Immediate Release
Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother Program
Springfield, Missouri, April 7, 2014 — Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother Community Presentation!
On April 23, Diversity MODES presents the Bridge Springfield – Brother to Brother Program (B2B) to the Springfield community. B2B is a new program in Springfield that provides a system of support for males attending Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College, Drury University, Evangel University, Southwest Baptist University and our Springfield Public Schools District high schools. The program is one of the newest chapters of the Student African American Brotherhood/Brother to Brother Program (SAAB/B2B).
The SAAB/B2B organization was established in 1990 by Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe in response to low African American male college attendance and graduation rates in the 1980s. Today, SAAB/B2B is open to men of any race and is focused on preparing the next generation to be globally competitive. Chapters have an option of using the name SAAB or B2B. Diversity MODES chose B2B because they want the program to be inclusive for the Springfield area high school and college students.
Today, SAAB/B2B has 280 chapters in 39 states with an 86% college graduation rate compared to the national average of 42% for African American males. The program offers professional advising and mentorship to assist the young men to excel academically, socially, culturally, spiritually, and in the community. In addition, one of the main objectives of SAAB/B2B is to help all members become role models for each other as well as for other males in their communities. SAAB/B2B also helps these young men become well prepared to enter the workforce of professionals and compete as positive contributors with the best.
Dr. Bledsoe, the founder and CEO of SAAB/B2B, has personally come to Springfield twice to work with the community and students who have been in training since January for leadership roles to ensure that the requirements of a SAAB/B2B chapter are aligned with the Bridge Springfield, B2B Program. At the 10th annual SAAB/B2B National Conference in Dearborn, Michigan last month, Dr. Bledsoe was quoted saying, “Now, once again, there is a sense of urgency surrounding the subject of education (in reference to President Obama’s announcement of My Brother’s Keeper as a critical US initiative). Since the beginning, our national conference has been about a call of action to break down the barriers between these culturally versatile groups and an opportunity for widespread engagement. Awareness leads to consensus building.”
Each chapter has an Executive Committee and a strategic plan with measurable goals that must be achieved every academic school year. Each member is required to create a five-year individual development plan that is monitored by their mentor. The chapter has student leadership with oversight by the Diversity MODES Council. Each chapter must have six required committees. For the Bridge Springfield Chapter, a minimum of one advisor and one mentor is assigned to each Committee Chair to provide immediate access for the needs of the students in leadership roles. The six committees are: Academics, Personal Development, Spiritual, Finance, Membership and Public Relations. The SAAB/B2B National Headquarters requires continuous assessment of the program with performance measures.
The Springfield community is encouraged to attend the “Bridge Springfield, B2B Program Presentation to the Community” to recognize the young men who are the founding members of this new program. Diversity MODES celebrates the start of a new beginning with the Brother to Brother Program on Wednesday, April 23 at the Missouri State University, Meyers Library, Room 101 from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M. B2B Membership applications will be available at this event. For more information, please contact Francine Pratt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916.541.1675.
Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother delegation at the SAAB National Conference
Javeon England, Vikas Jagwani, David Valenciano, Dallas Duncan, Roy Hardy, Cadarrius Dotson and Derrick Johnson